Chiefs pass out candy to juvenile diabetes patients with a purpose

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One week from now Arrowhead Stadium will be filled with fans hungry for a win on Monday Night Football versus the Denver Broncos. Monday night it was just filled with kids hungry for some candy.

But while many children will be counting how many more candy bars they got than their friends, some children at the event were counting their carbs. Halloween can be a difficult time of year for children with diabetes. For Katie Newman, 11, the amount of candy most children consume on Halloween could be fatal if she doesn't follow the proper steps.

“The first sign we knew we really had to go the doctor is she started getting really really thirsty and she could not quench her thirst," her mother said.

Katie was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the start of the school year.

“It means that your pancreas has stopped making insulin so you have to take insulin injections so you stay healthy and you don’t get sick," she explained.

You may not see them under their costumes, but about one of every five children at the event has an insulin pump, or injections nearby. They have to monitor their blood sugar before and after they eat and all through the night.

“Blood sugar does change very often especially for kids or little kids it can be very dangerous you really have to watch it," said Marlo Martin Outreach Manager for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

During the event, Reggie Ragland and Bryan Witzman signed autographs and numerous employees painted faces, blew up balloons, and created airbrush tattoos. The Kansas City Chiefs started inviting children in their kids club to the healthy Halloween event a few years ago, so the Juvenile Research Diabetes Foundation can speak to families about the more than one million Americans with type 1 diabetes.

“Knowing the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes may save your child’s life or someone you know," Martin said.

Some other warning signs of type 1 diabetes include headaches, fatigue, frequent urination, blurry vision, weight loss and increased appetite. Right now there’s no known cause or cure.