"Ian's Troopers" working to find diabetes cure - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

"Ian's Troopers" working to find diabetes cure

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The life of a middle schooler typically centers around school, friends and extra-curricular activities. For one Sulphur 7th grader at W.W. Lewis Middle School, though, that is mixed in with a life-threatening disease.

Ian Chesson is fighting for a Type I diabetes cure. Eight times a day, Ian has to check his blood sugar and insulin levels and carb count every morsel of food put into his body. "Every time I eat I have to check my blood sugar and I have to get insulin after I eat," said Ian.

Ian was diagnosed with Type I diabetes two years ago. It means his body does not produce insulin: the hormone that converts food into energy to live. Ian's mom, Erin, says it is a constant battle. "It's just a lot of planning, counting, it never stops, it's all day long."

While Ian is the only one in his family with the diagnosis, it affects all of them. Even younger sister, Ana, has seen its impact. "It's a really major condition that people have to live with and they could get really bad sick if they don't know that they have it," said Ana.

The Centers for Disease Control reports a 23 percent jump in Type I diabetes, especially in children. "People are getting diagnosed everywhere and they didn't even know they had it," said Ian.

Ian is using his story to raise awareness with the upcoming Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk. His team, "Ian's Troopers" will walk to raise money for a cure, something his mother is confident can be found. "We're just praying for that every day," said Erin.

Without a cure, Ian will live with this disease forever, carefully managing it to stay alive. But his hope is that the day will come when there are no more finger pricks. "We can raise money to help find a cure for everyone that has diabetes," said Ian.

The textbook symptoms for Type I diabetes are sudden weight loss, extreme thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision and fatigue.

If you want to learn more about Ian Chesson's story and Ian's Troopers, click here to see a video his father, Dean, put together. You can also check out the team page by clicking here.

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