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PEP Squad

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WSVN -- Cathleen Lamar: "When you go anywhere, what do you always have to remember to bring with you in case you have a low?"

Cathleen Lamar is good at helping kids with diabetes. Her son Felipe was diagnosed six years ago.

Cathleen Lamar: "I think there's a lot of blame in the beginning, and I think that was the hardest part for me."

It's pretty stressful monitoring blood glucose levels, making sure kids eat right.

Cathleen Lamar: "When you get a bad number, 'I did something wrong.' You blame your spouse. It causes a lot of stress in the family."

And knowing your child's life is literally in your hands. That's why the Diabetes Research Institute started a special support group, called The PEP Squad.

Dr. Wendy Rapaport, Diabetes Research Institute: "The PEP Squad stands for Parents Empowering Parents."

Dr. Wendy Rapaport teaches parents of diabetics how to mentor others.

Dr. Wendy Rapaport: "They reach out to the community. The Diabetes Research Institute has them meeting once a month, and they talk to each other, and then they really help newly-diagnosed individuals."

They help people like Nathalie Cooper. Her daughter, Lauren, was diagnosed four months ago.

Nathalie Cooper: "I wish that every parent that has to deal with something like that will get to know another parent that will help them through this process, because when parents leave the hospital, they don't know what to do."

And dealing with a child with diabetes can be hard, which is why getting advice from other parents is so important.

Dorothy Israel, PEP Squad member: "There are a lot of tricks to handling it, to, you know, keep them from going low at night, and dealing with highs and dealing with sports, and you need someone to walk you through that."

And for the kids, it's good to know they aren't the only one.

Lauren Cooper: "It feels good to know that there's other people there."

Felipe Lamar: "You can always turn to someone like a big brother that can help you."

Zach: "That goes both ways. I can do the same to him. If he has trouble, I could help him."

Lynn Martinez: "Making sure everyone in the family has all the support they need."


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