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December 9, 2012

Lockport teacher's book raising diabetes awareness

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Sharon Saraf’s first book has been published. It’s a topic close to home for the Lockport teacher, one that hopefully raises awareness for Type 1 diabetes.

Saraf’s “I Have Diabetes” is a children’s book about a young boy who becomes ill and is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Her inspiration is easy to see, as Saraf has a 12-year-old son Cole who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 3. Saraf’s sister, Susan Brooks, has been dealing with Type 1 diabetes for over 35 years. The book is dedicated to both.

“I wanted to write a book for a very long time, I just didn’t know what I would write about,” Saraf said. “Then I had the idea of combining two passions, wanting to write the book and all of the fundraising my family and I do.”

And writing about diabetes helps connect those who are dealing with the life-long disease.

“The reason I wrote about diabetes is two-fold. I wanted to have a story about my son’s situation, but I also hope the book will reach a lot of people across the country who have family members, particularly children, who have been diagnosed,” Saraf said. “It’s a way for all of us to embrace it, even though it’s a life sentence. For people to find comfort in it, knowing you can live a good life with constant management.”

Saraf, a second-grade teacher at Washington Hunt, asked Mark Kwoka, an art teacher at North Park Junior High, to do the illustrations for the book. The 28-page book features a cover with a baseball glove and a glucometer.

“It shows, hey I have diabetes but I can do whatever I want to do,” Saraf said.

Kwoka said children with diabetes is something that isn’t talked about. Raising a child is hard enough without a life long disease. 

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