Taking diabetes in stride

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By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist
By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist

PHOENIX -- Diabetes is a growing problem in the country. And while the biggest increase is in Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 still remains a problem.

"It is a truth about diabetes," said Mary Lee Lehrich, certified diabetes educator at Scottsdale Healthcare. "Diabetes can be in the genes."

“Certainly there are people who are at higher risk than others. If you have diabetes in your family, you are at greater risk,” Lehrich said.

Lehrich says knowing the risk factors is a big help in fighting diabetes because early testing and detection is key to successfully managing the condition.

“You need to know information about how to implement the strategies for success into your daily routines,” she said.

This is something 9-year-old Carly Lenett learned early. Her father has Type 1 diabetes and so does she.

"It was really hard for me because I felt responsible,” Carly's father Mitch Lenett said.

But the Lenetts have turned a negative experience into positive change. Not only is Carly managing diabetes, but she is a healthy competitive swimmer.

“I am no different than any other kid; I just need to watch what I eat sometimes," she said.

Carly and her father started a swim-a-thon in Pennsylvania to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.

Last year, Carly swam 110 laps and raised $9,000. She hopes to raise $100,000 in the next five years.

And in her wake she is leaving a message: you can not only live with diabetes, you can thrive.

“I'm really proud of myself because I know I am doing the right thing,” Carly said.

Her father adds, “Words can't describe how proud we are of Carly and her dedication and commitment in empowering herself.”

Lehrich could not agree with the Lenetts' message more. “Feelings create action, and it is 90 percent attitude and it is 10 percent everything else," she said.