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Diabetes on rise for kids; parents encouraged to attend conference set for April 12

Parents play a huge role is helping kids manage their diabetes.

In an attempt to help educate and support parents, MeritCare is hosting a conference titled "What's New for Kids with Diabetes."

It will be held Saturday, April 12, from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott, 1080 28th Ave. S., Moorhead.

The conference is free and open to the public; registration is required. Call the MeritCare Community Class registration line at (701) 234-5570 or (800) 437-4010, ext. 5570, to register.

Keynote speaker Joe Solowiejczyk, registered nurse, social worker and diabetes educator, will discuss strategies for successfully managing family-life while supporting a child with diabetes. The conference will also feature small group discussions, so parents can learn from each other, a vendor fair, and an open discussion with school nurses about how to help support school-aged children.

American Diabetes Association facts:

? Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin which is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. ? According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2005, there were about 176,500 people under age 20 in the U.S. with diabetes.

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