Life with Type 1 Diabetes: Team Effort for Meterologist Jeriann Ritter’s Family

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VAN METER, Iowa — Four years ago, Channel 13 Meteorologist Jeriann Ritter’s son, Luke, began his journey of managing his Type 1 diabetes. A lot has changed since then and managing the auto immune disorder is a team effort even when he is away at school.

Ten-year-old Luke Leary has formed an unlikely relationship with his elementary school nurse, Julie Leetch.

“It’s just amazing how she manages to always keep track of my numbers,” he says.

For more than two decades, Leetch has tended to the needs of sick kids at school,  getting to know those with medical conditions well.

“We build up a relationship. I trust him and he trusts me. He is learning to take care of his own diabetes,” she says. Leetch adds, the learning curve has been steep as-of-late — claiming more of her students are Type 1 diabetes than ever before.

“They seem to be younger now. I have a kindergartener and a first grader,” Leetch says. Her job as school nurse is an important one, helping to manage the kids diabetes by monitoring their Dexcom readings, a device that tracks blood sugar levels, while keeping parents up to speed by texting and calling throughout the day.

“We want the parents to feel comfortable that I am taking care of them.”

Luke and his family will take part in Saturday’s JDRF One Walk. Check – in for the event begins at 8:00 a.m. at the DMACC campus in Ankeny. The fundraiser aims to raise more than $800,000 for research for help find a cure.


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