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Months After Diabetes Diagnosis, Local Girl Wins Pageant Crown | Health

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Months After Diabetes Diagnosis, Local Girl Wins Pageant Crown
Months After Diabetes Diagnosis, Local Girl Wins Pageant Crown

Just months after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Summerlin resident Fallon Smythe earned the title of Miss Junior Teen Nevada 2011.

"Choosing to compete in the Miss Junior Teen Nevada Pageant presented itself as a positive focus in my life and a way to spread awareness of type 1 diabetes," Smythe said.

Smythe is excited about this opportunity of a lifetime and hopes her presence will make a difference in the lives of other children coping with this disease. As Miss Junior Teen Nevada, she will compete for the national title of Miss Junior Teen United States 2011 at The Orleans Hotel & Casino on July 13 and 14. 

Fallon was diagnosed in October 2010 with type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes, after undergoing various health challenges for the past three years, said Rebecca Prephan, Smythe’s mother.

As many as three million Americans may have type 1 diabetes. Each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults - approximately 80 people per day - are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the United States.

Smythe is a local youth ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the worldwide leader for research to cure type 1 diabetes. It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide.

The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly, and can be fatal. Until a cure is found, people with type 1 diabetes have to test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin injections multiple times or use a pump – each day, every day of their lives. And even with that intensive care, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its potential complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.

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