A headquarters in Vigo for small sweets

A headquarters in Vigo for small sweets
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They started ten years ago, in October 2013, providing support to the families of children who received a diagnosis of type I diabetes. They grew with their partners, later including adolescents and, two years ago, they also added adults. Although the minors, their “little sweets”, are still the majority. Anedia, the now association of people with type I diabetes in Galicia, opens its first location on Friday in the city of Vigo, the metropolis of the health area in which almost a third of its members are concentrated – around 160 of the total half a thousand – .

They will be at number 12 Carlos Colmeiro Laforet Street, thanks to the transfer of the premises by the grandparents of Francisco Fernández Lijo and Pilar López Diéguez, the grandparents of Candela, one of the sweet little ones. If it weren’t for them, they would have a difficult time, because this non-profit group finds it difficult to receive aid because it is not considered a disability and does not need care in a day center.

The association has always paid attention to users of the area in person, but they had to arrange meetings at the Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital and request a space there when they wanted to carry out training. Now they will have a two-story premises where they will be in the morning hours – from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – on weekdays – except for one day a week, when the technician moves to another area. On the ground floor they will have offices and a comfortable space to welcome new families. On the top floor, a classroom for the courses they organize – counting rations, handling insulin pumps, the operation of the sensors that allow anticipation…–

In any case, their attention is always 24 hours a day, on the phone or in chats, for any problem that arises and, if someone needs attention in the afternoon, they will cover it with volunteers.

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In this decade of existence, Anedia has become an essential piece when a family receives a diagnosis of type I diabetes. And not infrequently, in the health area three new ones have been given to children in the last week, according to data which its vice president, Carolina Estival, has. “At the beginning, that’s when they need the most support, that’s when they have the most doubts,” she points out and explains that they have to learn to count portions and calculate insulin and there is “a lot of fear of doing it wrong.” The consequences are not trivial: if they go too far with insulin there is a risk of diabetic coma. “At first, it’s a world, then, when filming, there are even those who do it with an eyemeter,” she points out. Hence the community is available to help each other 24 hours a day.

One of the supports that many need is psychological, “knowing that they are not the only one.” And that’s what veteran members are for. “At first the families have to learn to walk but then they end up running and, when they already walk, they are the support of others,” Estival describes figuratively.

In fact, one of the most valued activities of the group are coexistence. “These children may not have any other cases of diabetes at school or institute and seeing that others have the same problems and how they solve them helps them,” explains the vice president. They even have a camp, of which this year the third edition will be held, for fifty children with type I diabetes and their siblings.

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