Meet a 5th Grader Who Takes Diabetes in Stride

When Emma Mekenas was diagnosed in 2012 with Type 1 diabetes, she was really scared. Just two years later, and this little girl is taking on her disease like a champ.

Emma began experiencing classic symptoms of diabetes: thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and rapid weight loss. Emma cried when she was diagnosed, because she knew diabetes meant getting shots.

The elementary school student decided not to let her disease stop her from being a normal kid. She has to watch the carbs and eats lots of lean protein, veggies, fruits and whole grains. She plays on the school basketball team, attends gym class and goes on hikes.

More importantly, Emma has done her part in educating others about diabetes. She and her school nurse talked to her class about what diabetes is. She wants to spread the word because some kids don't even know the symptoms. “Some of the children are dying because they have no idea what’s going on,” said Emma.

Most recently, the 10-year-old ran a 5K for a diabetes fundraiser. “It makes me feel good to see that people care that we have diabetes,” she says.

Emma is living proof that diabetes doesn't have to slow anyone down.

Photo: The Daily Astorian