Hunter Makes a Difference
Hunter Sego was diagnosed with diabetes in 2004. Immediately, Hunter ran into some problems with his school. Unless a school nurse was present, Hunter was not allowed to give himself insulin shots.
“In our county, we have one school nurse who travels to six elementary schools and only one school that has a full-time nurse,” said Kathy Sego, Hunter’s mom. “Hunter’s school might have a school nurse for two hours a week, but that’s not enough for the demand necessary to care for this disease,” she said. Since a school nurse was not always present, Hunter’s mom, dad or grandmother would have to take time off work each day to go to school to give Hunter insulin shots.
For the Sego family, taking time off work was better than the alternative. “They tried to ship Hunter off to the ‘diabetic’ school,” said Kathy. “They wanted all the kids with diabetes to go to the one school that had the full-time nurse. Some kids would have to travel 40 minutes to get to that school.”
The Sego family did not want diabetes to disrupt Hunter’s learning environment as it had in so many other parts of his life. Knowing this was discrimination, Kathy started researching. “I went online and searched ‘diabetes discrimination’ and came to the American Diabetes Association’s Discrimination web page. I just was desperate for help.”
With the help of the American Diabetes Association, Kathy and Hunter worked with their local representative to push House Bill 1116. “Hunter sent letters and e-mails to legislators and even got his class into the mix. They all wrote letters to senators, representatives and even the governor,” said Kathy.
During the summer of 2006, both Kathy and Hunter testified at a committee meeting of senators and representatives to see if this bill was worth proposing to state legislators. “Hunter went up there and just told his story. He put a face to the problems associated with this disease.” said Kathy.
Three years later, on May 4, 2007 the Sego’s celebrated a huge victory. On that day, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law, House Bill 1116.
This bill allows students with diabetes to manage diabetes at school and allows trained non-medical school personnel (someone other than a school nurse) to administer diabetes care in the case of an emergency. “We’re just thrilled,” said Kathy.
Hunter and his family are a great example of how anyone, even YOU can make a difference!
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