Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) The 5th annual Dance for Diabetes held Feb 22. at Hotel Marshfield raised $21,910, benefiting the Neal Family Pediatric Diabetes Fund.
The fund supports families undergoing financial hardship due to a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes and helps send kids living with the disease to a diabetes camp. It was established by Dr. John Neal and his wife Dara Luangpraseut to support their daughter Fiona Neal’s journey with Type 1 diabetes after she was diagnosed in 2014.
Luangpraseut co-organized the dance with Sheri Meissner and Tina Becker, who both have Type 1 diabetes, and Annette Woller, who along with Becker has a daughter with the disease.
The event is a chance for families affected by Type 1 diabetes to have fun and connect with others undergoing the same challenges. This year, the event brought an attendance of 330 people.
“The Marshfield Clinic Health System serves over 500 pediatric diabetes patients,” said Luangpraseut. “Approximately 15-20 percent of these patients live with families who are experiencing financial hardship and may find it difficult to travel to see their health care provider for appointments, let alone send their children to a diabetes camp or buy them diabetes supplies for which they have no insurance coverage.”
Unlike Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 diabetes cannot by prevented through lifestyle changes such as diet or exercise. Usually diagnosed in childhood, Type 1 diabetes is not curable and must be monitored 24/7.
“The Diabetes Fund also provides life-saving, child-friendly items to children living with type 1 diabetes,” said Luangpraseut, “such as ID bracelets, fun diabetes supplies (bags, stickers, skins for insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, belts for insulin pumps), diabetes backpacks, continuous glucose monitors, medications or medical supplies that are not covered by health insurance.”
The Fund served over 300 children in 2019 and aims to help even more in 2020.