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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than a million people in the U.S. are affected with diabetes and many of them are children.
While there is no cure, one local police department has made it their duty to change that and raise awareness about type 1 diabetes also known as juvenile diabetes.
Chances are if you live, or have visited, South Miami you have seen it; it’s a patrol car on a mission.
“Our youngest child, who was 8 then, was diagnosed it was devastating to us,” said South Miami police Captain Larry Corbin.
Then two years ago his 19 year old daughter was also diagnosed.
“The impact on our family has been tremendous,” said Corbin.
The veteran police officer along with the South Miami Police Department and the Police Officers Trust Association teamed up with The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to raise money and help find a cure through a patrol car.
“People are like at first what is that. I explain what it’s about and they’re amazed we have a vehicle like this,” said Corbin.
It’s a vehicle they hope will make a difference. Artist Omar Angulo helped make it happen.
“My primary job was to illustrate the battle fought against the type 1 diabetes and highlight the heroes involved which are the children and their families who suffer from this auto-immune disease,” said Angulo.
More than $245 billion is spent on health care costs related to diabetes annually. The illness isn’t caused by eating sugary foods contrary to popular belief. Kids being diagnosed with it are within healthy weights, are active and have done nothing to cause this illness. Unfortunately, the exact cause is still unknown and many do not have a hereditary connection.
Together they hope to turn type one diabetes into type none that is their slogan.
“The main focus now is to find easier ways to manage it other than pricking fingers several times a day and taking six to seven shots of insulin. One point two million people are affected by the disease,” said Corbin.
The POAT has been involved with this cause for the last 12 years and in the last four years or so South Miami has joined in. POAT usually commits to raising about $45-thousand between all the police agencies that team up with them.