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CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Olivia and Marabelle are two Northeast Ohio teens that many would describe as typical teenagers.
If it wasn’t for the beeping of their insulin pumps, you’d never know about the daily routine that has become just another part of their every day life.
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Oliva and Marabelle were both born with type 1 diabetes.
A condition that they both say is tough to deal with, not because of the physical ailments, but the social effects they deal with while relying on those insulin pumps.
They don’t try to do anything to bring attention to their condition while in school, but the loud beeping of the pumps bring attention to them whether they want it or not.
Oliva said, “When my pump would beep [in class], kids would freak out. When does it usually go off if my blood sugar is high or low. Or sometimes if I forget to turn my insulin back on after a shower.
They say it hasn’t only been a struggle with feeling different compared to their classmates, but incidents with teachers thinking their devices are cell phones being used in class causes anxiety when the machines are working to provide them their necessary medicine.
Oliva continued, “One time I was giving myself insulin in class, my teacher was walking around and said ‘Do I see a phone?’ The whole class turned around. She looked under my desk and saw my pump and said, ‘never mind'” 
Technology has come a long way in helping children born with type 1 diabetes manage their insulin intake. Phones now connect to pumps via Bluetooth and help monitor blood sugar levels easier than ever before. 
However one issue that still remains that technology hasn’t come up with a solution for, the social ramifications of feeling “different” in a way not many others can understand. 
Marabelle’s mother Kari says schools are made aware of conditions like type 1 diabetes and should make sure every staff member knows about the accommodations allowed to these students by law.
“When [students] have something similar [to type 1 diabetes] they get a 504 plan through the school that gives them extra accommodations for test taking if they are over 300 they have the option to postpone. If they are not aloud to eat in class they can because they need it to stay healthy.
More than 200,000 kids have type 1 diabetes in the United States. It is an every day battle to stay healthy not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too.
Marabelle shares that she just wants to be looked as as a normal teen, “I’m not as different as you think I can still do normal stuff and that my pump beeping isn’t a big deal”
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