PINELAND, TX (KTRE) - Family and friends of an 8-year-old Pineland girl struggling with Type 1diabetes will be hosting a benefit for her on Saturday, Nov. 9. Proceeds from the benefit will used to help Bailey Norris' family with the cost of an alert dog for her diabetes.
The Paws for events will kick off with a 5K run/walk at the West Sabine High School. For the rest of the day, the benefit's various events will be held at the Pineland Fire Hall, and the benefit will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition to live music, the benefit will feature a bounce house, a Jasper PD DARE car display, a train ride, a horse ride, a dunking booth, face painting, food, an Acadian ambulance display, and "Paws for Bailey" shirts and bracelets.
A live auction will be held at 12 p.m., and there will be an area K-9 demonstration at 2 p.m. People can play chicken bingo at 3:30 p.m. A signed West Sabine jersey will be auctioned off, and a number of other items will be up for grabs in a raffle.
"Bailey is very independent and checks her own sugar and gives herself her own insulin shots," Bailey's mother Georgette Norris said in a previous East Texas News story. "Very seldom do I get to give her a shot. I stand there to make sure she does it correctly."
Bailey was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two years ago.
"In order for Bailey to manage her diabetes we have to watch what she eats - she can't have a lot of carbs - and make sure she takes her insulin," Norris said.
Norris explained in a previous story that Type 1 diabetes is a disorder of the human immune system that makes it difficult for a person's body to produce insulin.
Coping with Type 1 diabetes means that Bailey has to deal with things with most kids her age don't normally encounter during their childhoods. Norris said Bailey feels bad when her sugar level gets too high or low. When Bailey starts to feel bad, she often has severe stomach aches
Carmen Brown, a family friend, said that Bailey recently spent three long days in the hospital and was almost in a coma.
"The dog is very expensive but necessary," Brown said in an e-mail. "It can alert Bailey or her mother as to Bailey's sugar being too high or too low before it gets to a dangerous level."
Without insulin, the body cannot convert sugar from food into nutrients for cells," Norris said. "Excess sugar builds up in the blood stream and may eventually cause severe damage to organs and premature death."
Norris said both adults and children can develop Type 1 diabetes suddenly. Managing the disease requires supplemental insulin along with carefully regimented diet and exercise, she said.
Donations for Bailey's diabetes alert dog can be sent to the Shelby Savings Bank, where an account has been set up in her name. The account number is 0220001340. People interested in helping out can also visit Bailey's link on gofundme.org. In addition, a booth set up in San Augustine on October 26th at the annual Sassafras Festival to help raise money for her dog.
For more information on diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association's Website.
Anyone with questions or wanting to make donations to the benefit should contact Rebekkah Richardson at (936) 238-0682 or Jeff Richardson at (936) 201-2826.