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When Ruth Struck's five-year-old son was diagnosed with diabetes in 1992, she dialed the phone numbers of some local support groups and discovered that all of the groups in her area had closed.
Says Struck, "It was hard to feel alone, and my son really needed to see other kids with diabetes, to know they looked just like normal kids, like him."
Instead of striking out, Struck... well, struck out on her own, and with the cooperation of the ADA Oregon Affiliate, she formed the Portland Area Family Support Group.
The group features a different speaker each month, generally an endocrinologist, dietitian, psychologist, or other healthcare professional. The guest speaker lectures on a topic for about 45 minutes, then the floor opens for discussion. A certified diabetes educator is on hand at each meeting to make sure the information is clear and accurate.
Families, friends, and caregivers of children under age 17 with type I diabetes are invited to attend. Ten to 15 families participate each month.
The group also produces a quarterly newsletter called Kids in Control, which provides information and a calendar of activities in the Oregon area.
Anyone interested in joining the Portland Area Family Support Group can call the ADA Oregon Affiliate at (503) 245-2010.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.