Fredericksburg Parent

November 2017

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16 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • November 2017 Annika Natividad WRITTEN BY AMANDA DANAHER Fourteen-year-old Annika Natividad of Stafford excels at everything she does. She is a part of the National Junior Honor Society and Girl Scouts. She is a captain of her volley- ball team, was the lead in the school play and even was selected for All- District in choir. Annika also has diabetes. Diabetes, a chronic autoimmune con- dition affecting millions of Americans, can be categorized as either Type 1 or Type 2. At just 7 years old, Annika was diag- nosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), which occurs as a result of the pan- creas ceasing to produce a hormone called insulin, which the body needs to regulate blood sugar levels. Individuals with T1D did nothing to contract the condition and rely on insulin as well as the constant monitoring of blood sugar levels to maintain a healthy life. "Some people think that T1D chang- es your entire lifestyle and thought process, and, in a way, it does…but if you're lucky, you have very sup- portive family and friends that help out," said Annika. "Diabetes might be an autoimmune disease, but you're never alone." Annika's mother, Jennifer Natividad, plays a vital role in her daughter's sup- port system and is well acquainted with the challenges that diabetes brings. Life with Type 1 Diabetes

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