5:50 PM EDT, March 22, 2012
Fifteen thousand children are diagnosed with it every year and there is no cure. One Cave Spring teenager knows what it's like. Olivia Kiser was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at just nine months old.
Kiser is a rising senior at Cave Spring High School in Roanoke County. The 17 year old is passionate about photography and has even started her own photography business.
There's also something else she's passionate about: finding a cure for diabetes.
Kiser wears an insulin pump and pricks her finger eight to ten times a day. "It's caused callouses over all of my fingers so I can't feel them very well on the tips where I prick them," Kiser said.
"Sometimes it slows you down. You can't go to sleepovers. You can't do what you want. You can't eat what you want," Kiser said as she described what it's like to live with diabetes.
This high high school junior doesn't let the disease define her though. Instead she helps other children who've just been diagnosed. "I know some people that just got diagnosed. They're having a really hard time," Kiser said. "I've been through it so I can help them keep their anxiousness and nervousness down and just take it a day at a time."
Kiser now has a Web site for her photography business and has committed part of her proceeds to diabetes research.
"I think there will be a cure," Kiser said. "I have no doubt in my mind they'll find one."
One of Kiser's photos will be up for auction at the 9th annual Denim and Diamonds Star City Gala Saturday Night at the Shenandoah Club in Roanoke. The money raised goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
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