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Halloween Candy Exchange for Kids with Diabetes

October 29, 2010 - Michael Palmer
The 13th annual Halloween Candy Exchange will take place at Dr. Bruce G. Blank's offices of Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, location 46898 National Road in East Richland on Sunday, Oct. 31, 3PM to 5PM. Unlike other Halloween parties, this event is designed for children who have diabetes and, thus, cannot eat the typical sugared candies that other youngsters enjoy after an evening of trick-or-treating. I can only imagine how left out a child with diabetes must feel while all of their friends are out trick or treating. There little lives are tough enough with their insulin therapy and all of the needles for daily testing of their blood sugar levels.

I have Type II diabetes and want to applaud Dr. Blank for taking on this worthwhile activity. So many times I attend an event where punch, cake and cookies are the only things offered.

Diabetes is a disorder that affects the way your body uses food for energy. Normally, the sugar you take in is digested and broken down to a simple sugar, known as glucose. The glucose then circulates in your blood where it waits to enter cells to be used as fuel. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps move the glucose into cells. A healthy pancreas adjusts the amount of insulin based on the level of glucose. But, if you have diabetes, this process breaks down, and blood sugar levels become too high.

There are two main types of full-blown diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes are completely unable to produce insulin. People with Type 2 diabetes can produce insulin, but their cells don't respond to it. In either case, the glucose can't move into the cells and blood glucose levels can become high. Over time, these high glucose levels can cause serious complications.

Dr. Bruce G. Blank, podiatrist and organizer of the annual party, explained, "Halloween is a fun holiday, but not necessarily fun for children with diabetes. For the most part, they can't eat the treats they get." To give those youngsters an alternative, he said, "We have the children bring the sugared candy that they get on trick-or-treating night to our office. We have a costume party and, at the end of party, they give us the sugared candy and we give them snacks and treats that they can eat, that are more appropriate for their conditions,”

"The candy that they give us is then donated to the Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling. "It's been a fantastic event," Blank said of the holiday tradition. "Children enjoy it; families enjoy it. We have a lot of fun with it. We look forward to it every year."

Dr. Blank asks that those planning on attending call 740-633-4188 and RSVP. There will be games and prizes and kids are encouraged to dress in their Halloween costumes. Pizza is being provided by De Felice Brothers Pizza and the whole family is welcome.

Dr. Blank pays for the advertising and covers most of the expense for the annual event with the exception of just a few donations. Many thanks to Dr. Blank, Happy Halloween!


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