Sophie’s Story: Writing for Diabetic Children

Kelsey’s project features a children’s book for diabetic children ages 3-6 that she authored and illustrated. Kelsey was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was fifteen months old. At the time, such a young diagnosis was rare, so it was understandable that there were not any media or educational tools directed at very young diabetics. Now, type 1 diagnoses are on the rise in the four and under age category and are becoming much more commonplace. When children are diagnosed this young, diabetic education materials are all focused on teaching the parents rather than the child themselves. Growing up in that position, Kelsey can personally understand the importance of needing to connect to characters in books and feeling engaged in my own diabetes care. To address this need, Kelsey wrote and illustrated a children’s book where the protagonist a type 1 diabetic named Sophie who is learning to handle low blood sugars. Kelsey’s book will be distributed in pediatric endocrinologists’ offices in Des Moines to families with a diabetic child under the age of seven. Kelsey plans to continue this project into the future and continue Sophie’s story.  

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Kelsey is a senior undergraduate at the University of Iowa, studying Health and Human Physiology. She plans to work in healthcare and later pursue a master's of public health degree in health administration. She has conducted research with the Iowa College of Public Health Center for Emerging Infectious Disease, where she helped assess disease risk for those with outdoor and animal exposures, as well as cultivated protocols for using dried blood spots to test for zoonotic diseases. Her time at Iowa has inspired her to use her love of science to help others and she is eager to continue her career in healthcare.
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