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Local

'I am proud of what she's done'

Emily Laughead, 9, tests and checks the batteries on some of the donated toys Tuesday that will be sold at her family’s garage sale the next two weekends in North Aurora. (Rob Winner photo)
Emily Laughead, 9, tests and checks the batteries on some of the donated toys Tuesday that will be sold at her family’s garage sale the next two weekends in North Aurora. (Rob Winner photo)

NORTH AURORA – Emily Laughead just wants to be a kid.

But the 9-year-old North Aurora resident, who has Type 1 diabetes, has more responsibilities than the average child, including having to prick her finger eight to 10 times a day to test her blood.

She doesn’t want other children to go through the same thing. Emily was diagnosed when she was 41⁄2 years old.

“I want to raise awareness and hopefully find a cure,” said Emily, a fourth-grade student at Schneider Elementary School.

To raise awareness and money for a cure for Type 1 diabetes, the Laughead family starting Thursday will host the third annual Emily’s Hope Garage Sale.

The sale also will be Friday and Saturday and April 24, 25 and 26. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 604 Wingfoot Drive, North Aurora.

The sale is rain or shine. All of the proceeds will be divided between the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Emily’s medical fund.

Emily has a Web page, www.Emilys Hope.org, that is geared toward educating children about juvenile diabetes.

For example, a cartoon that Emily created shows her testing her blood sugar.

And Emily knows what she would tell another child diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.

“Don’t get worried; it will be OK,” Emily said. “I’ve been through it a lot. It may hurt when you get a shot.”

She is not alone. About one in every 400 to 600 children and adolescents has Type 1 diabetes, according to the Maryland-based National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.

Her brother, James, 7, does not have diabetes.

“Ninety percent of children who are diagnosed do not have a family history of diabetes,” said Emily’s mother, Amy Laughead.

The family since 2003 has participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Ron Santo’s Walk to Cure Diabetes. Emily’s team is called Emily’s Hope.

They will have a float and pass out wristbands promoting Emily’s Web page as part of Batavia’s Loyalty Day Parade on May 4.

“I am proud of what she’s done and there’s a lot more she can do too,” Amy Laughead said.

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