Former Helenan, 21, shares her experiences with Type 1 diabetes

Phil Drake

Kylee Longenecker was about 4 years old when her mother noticed she was growing lethargic, was making frequent trips to the bathroom, was “super irritable” and lost weight.

They tested her blood sugar and found that she had diabetes, a disease which did not run in her family.

“It was kind of a shock to us,” Kylee recalled, joking it was “perfect timing” as her dad was out of town and her mother was pregnant with her sister when the news occurred.

Kylee is now 21 and hopes to soon graduate with a degree in nursing from Seattle University. The former Helena resident is among 3 million young adults, ages 17-30, living with diabetes in the United States, the American Diabetes Association says.

It’s a number that the national Diabetes Association points out continues to increase daily. November is American Diabetes Month.

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The body breaks down most of the food eaten into sugar (glucose) and releases it into the bloodstream. When the

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