Team Schnak presents to students at SES
On Friday, Nov. 8, Kent Schnakenberg — or just Schnak — of Emporia came to the Sabetha Elementary School (SES) to educate the students and staff about Type one Diabetes (T1D).
Schnak created Team Schnak Cycling when his niece was diagnosed with T1D at 13 years old. Schnak has made it his mission to use his love of cycling to raise money and awareness for research to cure Juvenile Diabetes, as T1D was once called due to it being commonly diagnosed in young children.
Schnak also started Team Schnak Strong, which collaborates with the Emporia Community Foundation to help families in Emporia and surrounding areas with diabetes-related expenses.
Team Schnak participates in many events that focus on T1D, including JDRF Rides. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is a leading global organization specializing in funding T1D research. This organization created JDRF Rides — a nationwide cycling event — to bring awareness to their fight against T1D.
Besides cycling, Schnak also enjoys traveling to schools around the country to educate students and staff about T1D and its symptoms. To assist in his teachings, Schnak gives a Team Schnak Strong shirt to every student and staff member of the school he visits.
Symptoms of T1D are hard to recognize because they are often mistaken for the flu or cold. To spread awareness of these symptoms, Schnak had a list of the symptoms printed on the backs of the shirts.
Some of the symptoms include extreme thirst, fatigue and weakness, sudden weight loss, blurry vision and loss of consciousness.
At the assembly, Michaela Schultejans, mother of Mallorie, an SES student diagnosed with T1D, spoke about her daughter’s life with diabetes.
Before Mallorie can eat breakfast, she needs to wash her hands thoroughly and check her blood sugar level with a blood glucose monitor. Once that is done, her parents figure how many carbohydrates she can have. After that, they calculate how much insulin Mallorie needs depending on the amount of carbohydrates. Finally, Mallorie gives herself a shot and eats breakfast.
Children with T1D have to do tedious tasks like this every day for every meal no matter where they are, especially at school. Luckily, the SES nurse assists the students with her food choices and insulin calculations.
Schnak also took a small segment out of his presentation to teach the students about bike safety, since he goes biking regularly. He spoke of three rules:
1. Wear a helmet.
2. Wear a bright shirt so other people can see you.
3. Wear eye protection.
At the end of the presentation, Dave Herbster, a member of the Sabetha Lions Club, presented Schnak with a $500 donation. The check will go toward helping children living with T1D attend Camp Discovery in Junction City — a camp specifically for diagnosed children.