T1D families invited for ‘A Day on the Farm’

King’s Daughters Medical Center Ohio and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) are hosting a special farm visit for children with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).

During the event, children with T1D will be invited to enjoy healthy, friendly food, walk the five-acre corn maze, race on a tricycle and pedal cart track and slip down the 40-foot hillside slides. The farm also includes a play area, hay-mountain, corn pit, tire swings, sensory garden and lawn games. Plus, the event is free.

“This event first started last September 2016 and was held at Noble Farms,” KDMC Dietitian Malissa Sarver explained. “In 2016, we had over 50 people attend the ‘A Day on the Farm’ event, and this year we already have 78 people impacted by type 1 diabetes registered in addition to volunteers. Our Type 1 group wanted to have a fun family day event at a place all ages could enjoy. Noble Farms was the perfect location because there’s something to do for any age group-since type 1 diabetes impacts all ages and can be diagnosed at any age.”

Sarver expressed much appreciation for the farm for supporting the event.

“Noble Farms has been wonderful to work with on this event providing a great family friendly venue,” she stated. “We have strong community support from our sponsors who value the importance of our type 1 diabetes group and events. Members of our type 1 diabetes group not only attend ‘A Day on the Farm’ but also volunteer at it as well.”

The local type one diabetes groups has worked with the JDRF on previous events to support the local T1D group.

“Ohio River Valley T1D has a close relationship with JDRF as well and without the support from JDRF, KDMC Ohio, all of our local sponsors, and the members of Ohio River Valley T1D none of this would be possible,” Sarver commented.

In addition to working locally with individuals with T1D, Sarver is a mother of a child impacted by T1D, who was diagnosed at 17-months-old. She explained how the support group and events for those with T1D are important local resources.

“Having a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can be devastating and leave one feeling isolated,” she explained. “A support group can provide you with emotional encouragement as you deal with challenges unique to people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Having a support group can put you in touch with people going through the same thing as you. This is very important because only a small portion of the diabetes community has type 1 diabetes- about 5-10%. This makes T1D not very well understood by the general public and can make those impacted by T1D feel isolated. Having those living with or a child with T1D longer than your experience can prove to be a great resource. I once had a college professor who said we would learn more from each other than we would the classroom and as the older I get the more wisdom I find in this statement.”

Experts in the field further support Sarver’s statements.

“If you have a more supportive network around you, you’re more likely to be in control,” says Judith Long, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

“Many members of Ohio River Valley T1D can attest to the power of being involved in a support group,” Sarver commented. “Science also backs this as research has found empathetic support also improves overall mental health and quality of life, reduces depression and anxiety, and boosts problem-solving abilities. Peer support isn’t just for the newly diagnosed or those whose diabetes is not controlled. Even people with long-standing diabetes who are in control can benefit from a solid support network. But for them, the means of support may change, such as from group meetings to informal get-togethers with friends who have diabetes.”

Sponsors for this year’s Day on the Farm event include Gatti’s Pizza, Kroger, Blevins Storage, Journey’s Auto Parts, Aubrey Boland, Miss Notre Dame 2017 and K and Sons Signs and Lighting.

A Day on the Farm will be hosted from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Noble Family Farm at 11210 Ohio 335 in Minford. Though the event is free, it is a closed event. RSVPs must be submitted by 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9. by calling (740) 991-1430.

By Nikki Blankenship

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Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.