PSV's Dr. Otilia Neacsu (Endocrinology) was recognized alongside Cindy Chambers (author), Dr. Jill McCabe (Inova), and Dr. Edward Puccio (Inova) by the Great Falls Rotary Club and the Great Falls Rotary Foundation at the Great Falls Country Club on Thursday, March 12, 2105 for the great work they have done to publicize Type 1 Diabetes.
Dr. Neacsu provided invaluable information on Type 1 Diabetes to Cindy, which helped her pen a recent children’s book entitled Beamer Learns About Type 1 Diabetes: The Beamer Book Series. Dr. Neacsu has been providing care to one of the Rotarian’s (William Sevila) son Michael Sevila, a 14-year old freshman at Langley High School, since he was diagnosed in 2012 during Labor Day weekend.
Michael the main character in the story, by sharing his experience with Type 1 Diabetes we're trying to help educate other families and improve the the knowledge of those living with the disease.
“Working closely with Cindy, Dr. Neacsu, and Jim Huber (Illustrator) on the book was one of the most important things we’ve ever done,” William said. We were able to take Michael’s story of a diagnosis with Type 1 – a very complex disease – and turn it into an understandable and very readable children’s book. It actually turned out to be a great read for both children and adults with educational opportunities and positive messages throughout the book. Michael’s mother and I are extremely proud of our son.”
With the love and support of his family and the medical care and attention provided by Dr. Neacsu, Michael has been able to effectively monitor and manage his Type 1 to the point where he’s participating in sports – football, basketball, baseball – and surfing in the summer. He’s even taken up bike riding as a form of fundraising for diabetes research and he is a proud organizer of two successful classic car shows in Great Falls for Cars for the Cure USA.
“Because I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes later than many kids, I was able to keep my regular routine with just some small changes to make sure I stay healthy. I am able to do everything I did before being diagnosed and even a few more things like participate in the JDRF 100 mile bike ride fundraiser with my dad,” Michael, who has helped raise $85,000 so far for Type 1 Diabetes, said. “My family’s support has been very important. They help me stay healthy by counting carbs and maintaining my blood sugar levels. We also put on an annual car show fundraiser in the fall in Great Falls, VA called 'Cars for the Cure' as a whole family.”
At the end of the event, Dr. Neacsu, Dr. McCabe, Dr. Puccio, and Cindy were presented with 166 copies of the book and 166 little stuffed beamer puppies provided by Tell Me Town to share with children who will be diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2015.
“Providing care for children affected by Type 1 Diabetes like Michael is something I take great pride and honor in,” Dr. Neacsu said. “Michael is just as active now as he was prior to the diagnosis if not more. He’s excelling academically, in sports, and he’s heavily involved in his community which is great to see."
Dr. Neacsu added: "I am grateful to Cindy for taking on this daring task of explaining Type 1 diabetes to kids and their families, and I really appreciate the generous donation of the Great Falls Rotary Club and the Great Falls Rotary Foundation to benefit so many families. This book is a great learning tool for all living with Type 1 diabetes, as well as for their families, friends and communities. There is not much community education about Type 1 diabetes and this book closes the gap. It takes a village to manage diabetes and we are grateful to our families for allowing us to guide them in this journey, and for everything we learn from each and every one of them. Our PSV team (Nurse Educators, Nurse Practitioners, Psychologist and us Endocrinologists) strive to deliver the best possible care to our patients and their families, hoping the day will come when we’ll all celebrate finding a Cure."