It is amazing to watch something take shape. When I started with a “Child’s Cry for Change” it was a concept….an idea. To gather stories about children who, for whatever reason, had their diagnosis of diabetes missed (usually confused for flu/virus), sent home, and would enter DKA. The result in many cases was hospitalization; and in the ultimate cases; death. It needs to be changed.
In this journey I met the family of Reegan (pictured); a young lady in North Carolina who lost this unfortunate battle. Reegan’s mom wanted a law on the books in Reegan’s name. Perhaps testing for diabetes, but; for something to be done so what happened do Reegan would/could never happen again. Steps needed to be taken. Reegan’s Rule was created.
Representative Charles Graham of North Carolina picked up this fight. A bill was created and discussions were had. The bill, in the early stages, was met with some opposition because it was actual screening for diabetes. Representative Graham called me from his cell phone last week. He informed me that the bill was in trouble in its present form. In the early days we had discussed this, we knew it could be ‘too finite’ a request. The questions now was what to do.
I stated that originally I had an idea to reach out to health commissioners but put that on hold for the time being while this law was being considered. But, that idea was an educational idea. What if the bill we were working on in his state, was more educational in nature like what I wanted from the Health Commissioners. He asked me to look at the bill and send new wording over. I sent wording that stated anyone who had flu/virus-like symptoms would be given an education of Type 1 diabetes, by physicians, physician’s assistants, or certified nurse practitioner.
My thought was twofold. One is the obvious, the parents/guardians would be made aware. Two was that if the family physician/pediatricians would be forced to educate, it would then be on the forefront of their daily duties as well. An education bill could work and would be less imposing than having to do ‘actual’ screenings.
He came back with the following suggestion and it is more inclusive of all kids and not just those with flu-virus-like symptoms:
HOUSE BILL 20
PROPOSED COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE H20-CSTK-26 [v.4]
Short Title: Reegan’s Rule/Childhood Diabetes Education
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT REQUIRING PARENT EDUCATION DURING WELL-CHILD VISITS AT SPECIFIC AGE INTERVALS REGARDING TYPE 1 DIABETES
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. Chapter 130A of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
130A-221.5. Diabetes education as part of well-child care.
Each physician, physician’s assistant, or certified nurse practitioner who provides well-child care shall ensure that education if warning signs of Type 1 diabetes and symptoms are discussed with each parent for each child under the care of physicians, physicians assistant, or certified nurse practitioner at least once at the following age intervals:
2. Twelve months of age
3. Twenty-four months of age
Section 2. This act becomes effective October 1, 2015
The Bill means that every child born in the State of North Carolina, BY LAW, will have at least three different educations in diabetes before their child is over two, The Bill means that the medical professional will have to, by Law, explain the warning signs which means it will have to be on their minds much more than it presently is. It is an incredible start to a movement that will bear the name of a child who lost this battle because of a missed diagnosis.
We get this done in North Carolina, and with some work, every State in the Union could follow……but the important precedent would be set. the toughest is always the first.
I spoke to Reegan’s mom this morning and she is filled with emotion as one could imagine; and she is VERY EXCITED. I also spoke to Representative Graham and thanked him and wished him luck. He said to me, the diabetes community can help.
And now it is up to us. Share this everywhere and anywhere AND SPECIFICALLY IN NORTH CAROLINA. We have until 2:00 PM to send Representative Graham emails of the importance of this bill. Lots of emails. If you ever wanted to be part of something to help in this diabetes world——now is the time.
By 2:00 pm EST TODAY –we do not have a lot of time so please do it now.
In the subject line: Support of Reegan’s Rule
If you are from North Carolina, begin your email: Dear Representative Graham, As a resident of North Carolina I am writing today in strong support (and tell your story)…..
If you are NOT from North Carolina, begin your email: Dear Representative Graham, As a (parent, person with diabetes etc) I am writing today in strong support of…….
Keep them brief. Please reach out to support groups and organizations in North Carolina……as well as anyone with diabetes. This bill is a first. Imagine having Type 1 diabetes education as a law?!?!?!?!?! This bil will save lives….BUT PLEASE ACT NOW. Reegan’s mom and Representative Graham will be before the Health Committee at 3:00 pm today and it will be decided whether to present it for State Law to the North Carolina’s Representatives.
Today we can change history……..please send en email NOW.
I am a diabetes dad.
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