JDRF and St. Louis College of Pharmacy Partner to Host Boo Fest 2018
Published on 01 November 2018
The St. Louis College of Pharmacy Quad was a sea of ghosts, goblins and costumed characters as the College and JDRF, the leading global organization funding Type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, partnered to host the 12th annual Boo Fest event on Oct. 21.
More than 200 kids and families living with T1D took part in the festivities, enjoying Halloween-themed games and crafts, face and pumpkin painting, a bounce house, a photo booth and T1D-friendly snacks and refreshments. Those in attendance included JDRF kids and families, and the friends and families of College faculty, staff and alumni.
According to JDRF, nearly 200,000 individuals nationwide under age 20 are currently living with T1D, many of which are young children. For kids with T1D, Halloween can be a challenging time, as they struggle to keep their blood sugar levels in check amid a seemingly endless supply of sweet treats.
Once known as juvenile diabetes, T1D is an autoimmune disease which causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar to enter cells to produce energy. While the cause of T1D is unknown, and the disease has no cure, it is treated through the management of blood sugar levels with insulin, which helps to prevent disease-related health complications.
“T1D is typically diagnosed in childhood, and those that have the disease will have it for the rest of their lives,” said Amy Tiemeier, associate professor of pharmacy practice and director of community partnerships and at the College. “From the moment of diagnosis, the disease requires 24/7 management of blood sugar levels with insulin and a special diet.”
Since candy is composed of refined, simple sugars that are quickly absorbed by the body, parents of kids with TID must closely monitor Halloween candy intake to control blood sugar levels.
“Halloween has a huge focus on candy, which makes it tough for kids with T1D,” said Tiemeier. “For them, gorging on sweet treats isn’t an option because they have to account for all of the carbs that are coming in from any candy they consume, and then dose a specific amount of insulin to counteract those carbs to prevent a dangerous rise in blood glucose levels.”
Tiemeier notes that candy-free events, like Boo Fest, can serve as great ways for kids to enjoy all the fun of Halloween without all the sugar.
“Our students, faculty members and staff work hard every year to make this wonderful event happen because they understand how much joy it brings to area kids with T1D and their families,” said Tiemeier. “We are so grateful to partner with JDRF to make this special day possible.”
“St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s partnership with JDRF continues to impact the lives of thousands of children living with Type 1 diabetes and their families,” said Chris Martinez, executive director, JDRF Greater Missouri and Southern Illinois Chapter. “We appreciate their continued leadership and commitment to creating a world without T1D.”