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Coppell Student Media

The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

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October 26, 2023

Diabetes awareness reaches Coppell

By Julia Kim

Staff Writer

Video by Holly Conradt

Extreme thirst. Frequent urination. Drowsiness. It’s difficult. It’s upsetting. It’s life-threatening. And, it never goes away.

Type I diabetes, sometimes known as juvenile diabetes, usually strikes in childhood. Over 23 million Americans have diabetes, and awareness of this condition is being spread through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) on the high school level, starting with Coppell.

Coppell parent Michele Pitman, President and CEO of intelliVOL, connected JDRF to CHS. IntelliVOL is an online community service management system that connects high school students in search of service activities with non-profit organizations in need of volunteers. Pitman knew JDRF, a client, was looking for an opportunity to bring diabetes awareness to high school students.

On Jan. 19, JDRF visited CHS and asked Health Science teacher Brenda Brinkman for ideas on raising awareness of diabetes on the high school level. She asked anatomy teacher Jodie Deinhammer’s classes to suggest possible ways to campaign.

“JDRF contacted us to see what kind of campaign we would be interested in to raise awareness and raise money for a research fund for diabetes,” Deinhammer said. “We are [basically running] a pilot program to see what ideas JDRF could get into other schools. This is an interesting way to learn about diabetes. It’s good for students to figure out [about diabetes] now rather than later.”

It became a project for anatomy students. For a week, students, in groups, worked to design a unique, effective way to campaign. On Feb. 1, Toby Petersen, of the Dallas Stars, presented ideas of a raffle for the March 21 game against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The two most appealing ideas from each anatomy class were designated as finalists and presented their design to five differing groups within JDRF on Feb. 16. The suggestions by the finalists included a Dash for Change (similar to a 5k), Strike-Out Diabetes (a bowling tournament), Dunks for Diabetes (pledges for a number of dunks), a spring football game with all proceeds going to the foundation, the raffle suggested by Petersen, and buying off-campus lunch (similar to Renaissance).

“The idea was to sell off-campus lunch tickets,” senior Andrea Scully said. “[The price would be] $5 for two tickets and $10 for five tickets with all proceeds going to JDRF. This doesn’t really cost anything except the [printing off] of tickets, so that’s convenient. To tie in diabetes, every sixth ticket would be pink in color because there’s a statistic that every one in six teens have pre-diabetes.”

The hockey raffle was selected, but the idea still needs to be approved. There are plans to raffle three tickets to the Stars game, and the winners of these tickets will sit in the Dallas Stars penalty box during warm-up.

Although Deinhammer’s anatomy classes suggested the ideas for campaigning, HOSA is in charge of the actual campaign. Once approved by JDRF, there is a possibility that the campaign may be marketed around the nation.

“It’s an important issue,” HOSA President Suwetha Amsavelu said. “It’s easy to think as a teen that diabetes won’t affect us. Kids must realize that juvenile diabetes is a problem. [Campaigning] may be difficult considering it’s hard for a certain group to raise awareness, but this is new [so] it might help.”

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