Fighting against childhood diabetes

Published 9:50 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Childhood diabetes: Donna and Trent Moore sit with their children Kenny, Reyland and Blessing. Together the family is fighting childhood diabetes, which Kenny was diagnosed with at the age of 11.

Most teenagers live off of candy, pizza and fast food, but those foods could kill 15-year-old Kenny Moore.

Moore was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 11 years old. The disease has already damaged his joints and weakened the muscles behind his eyes.

To help raise money to find a cure for the disease, his mother, Donna Moore, is organizing a team from Suffolk for the “Walk to Cure Diabetes” in Virginia Beach on Oct. 23.

“Most mothers want to give their children something they don’t have,” Moore said. “I have the opposite situation. I want to take something away from my child that I can’t.”

According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, every year 15,000 children — 40 a day — are diagnosed each year with type 1 diabetes in the United States.

Since his diagnosis, life has changed dramatically for Kenny.

He has to have shots every morning before he goes to school, as well as in the afternoon. He has to go to the nurse’s office during class to check his blood sugar.

“There is no cure for this,” Moore said. “There is no medicine to make it go away. There is no transplant or surgery.”

Kenny also has to constantly watch his carbohydrate and sugar intake.

“There are some days he eats foods he knows he’s not supposed to eat, and we have to talk about why he can’t do that,” Moore said. “I guess it’s something you just don’t get used to. He just wants to eat the foods his friends eat.”

“It’s frustrating,” Kenny admitted.

To help raise money to find a cure for her son, Moore is hard at work rounding up as many people as she can to walk with her team “Kenny’s Praisers.”

“Last I checked, we were the only Suffolk team walking this year, and I know we’re not the only people affected by juvenile diabetes in Suffolk,” Moore said. “I know I’m not the only one in this city who wants their child to have a normal life.”

To help raise funds, there are donation jars at the Happy Shopper, Lafayette’s Barber Shop and Professional Touch Barbershop, all on East Washington Street, and also at CeCe’s Barbershop. Moore also sent letters to churches and has reached out to numerous businesses and organizations for support, as well.

There will be a lunch fundraiser at Professional Touch Barbershop on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to benefit the walk.

Through her efforts, Moore hopes more parents will learn about juvenile diabetes and what it could mean for their children.

“It’s not something that is just for adults or something that you can grow out of if you do everything right,” Moore said.

To make a donation, visit any of the shops or visit www.jdrf.com, click “donate now” on the top menu, click “donate to a walker” at the top, righthand side of the page and enter in the information on the left of the page.

To join the Suffolk-based team or for questions, contact Moore at mooreblessings3@yahoo.com.