CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Dressed in her mother's high-heeled shoes and a princess dress, 6-year old Kate Hanchon resembles every other girl her age. But, Kate has juvenile diabetes.
"Sometimes when I'm low, I kind of feel like I'm the only person in the world with diabetes," said Kate.
Kate is not alone. She is one of more than 15,000 children diagnosed each year.
"We are constantly, I think, on edge now wondering how she's doing in terms of blood sugar. And, we're checking her very frequently. One of us is up with her every 3 hours during the night. So, sleep is something that's gone by the wayside," said Tim Hanchon, Kate's father.
Kate was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes August 18th, 2010 at the age of 5.
"Eating has completely changed. Anything she puts in her mouth, we have to make sure how many carbohydrates are in it. So, anything that we make for dinner, anytime we go out to eat, anything she eats we need to know what she eats so we can cover that with insulin," said Tanya Hanchon, Kate's mother.
"Right now, her blood sugars go really, really high and really, really low and she feels the physical affects of those pretty quickly. And, that can mean she gets really lethargic when she's low, doesn't feel well, begins to get whiny. Or when she gets high she feels really hyperactive, unable to make safe decisions for herself, because she can't think clearly."
Thankfully, there's help out there for Kate – if only she can afford it.
"We're pursuing a diabetic alert dog so that Kate can have more normal blood sugars," said Tanya. "They are scent trained. So, they are able to smell any kind of change in Kate's blood sugar as she goes high and as she goes low 40 minutes before she'll start to feel the physical affects of that."
A diabetic alert dog would help Kate tremendously.
"That will allow her to go play on the playground, go to friend's houses and play because she'll have someone constantly, a dog constantly monitoring what she's doing and how she's feeling," said Tanya.
"I can go on a sleep over," Kate said.
There's only one problem, though.
"They're $20,000. Most of that goes to training the dog and travel expenses to bring the dog to the family's home," said Tanya.
Thankfully, Kate has family and friends who are willing to rally for her cause.
"We're doing "A dog in a Day" and our goal is to raise all 20,000 dollars by the end of tomorrow evening," said Anne Marie Crevar, event coordinator. "All day at Mellow Mushroom they'll be sponsoring Kate's pizza… which is pepperoni and sausage with a side of sprinkles."
Kate's specialty pizza will be on sale for the remainder of February.