A diagnosis of juvenile diabetes forces families to cope with unexpected life-or-death challenges. In this week's Dealing with Diabetes report, Anchor Paula Francis tells us how a local family handled those challenges -- in triplicate.
Cohen's son and twin daughters were diagnosed with diabetes as children, and they all had a lot to learn about a disease that now affects more than 20 million Americans.
"It was always in the back of your mind -- are they okay, are they okay out there playing," he said.
Cohen's son became insulin-dependent at age 5. One of the hardest parts for the parent, he says, is learning to administer daily injections.
"Every time you had to stick that needle into your son on various parts of his body, it was pretty traumatic," said Larry.
Teaching a child to monitor their blood-sugar levels, and making sure they do it is no easy task. The family also had to learn about the right balance between diet and exercise.
"So we had to learn how to adjust their food intake and make sure they got enough exercise so that we could keep that in check," he said.
Self-image would also be a problem as the children became teenagers. "It was very difficult because of their wanting to be accepted into the 'group' and yet having to make sure their diabetes was monitored properly," he said.
The Cohen family's hard work paid off. All three children have grown up otherwise healthy.
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