CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Each day before 6 a.m., Addee Barnett makes breakfast. It’s usually egg cups with sausage.

“They are very good,” she said.

The taste isn’t the only reason why she’s eating them. 


What You Need to Know 

Fewer than 200,000 Type 1 diabetes cases are diagnosed in the U.S. every year 

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and unlike Type 2 diabetes, is not caused by poor dieting 

Addee Barnett was diagnosed with T1D when she was 11 years old, and ice skates every morning to keep her blood sugar at a healthy level   


“These are a really great breakfast food, because I don’t have to dose for them,” she said.

No insulin dose is required to enjoy this breakfast. Last summer, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. 

She has to stick to a recommended serving size for lunch, too. She counts her crackers before packing them in her lunch box.

“If you eat too many, then your blood sugar will start to go up, and that’s not good,” she said.

She knew Type 1 diabetes, or T1D, would change her life, but wouldn’t let it change her routine. 

“I would be able to still skate, and still do what I love to do,” she said.

She ice skates every morning before school. 

“It keeps my blood sugar from going higher than we want it. And a stable blood sugar is a very good thing for a Type 1 diabetic, because It means you have a less likely risk of going into DKA again,” she said.

DKA, or diabetic ketoacidosis, happens when there’s not enough insulin in the body. She experienced DKA last summer on a hike with the YMCA Charlotte summer camp. It landed her in the ICU for three days. 

“I was really most afraid of what was happening, because I didn’t understand at first what I was going through at the time,” she said. 

That’s how she found out she was a Type 1 diabetic. Her parents say the camp’s fast-acting saved her life.

She had been experiencing diabetic symptoms: hunger, fatigue and extreme weight loss nine months before her official diagnosis. Finally, on that hike, she felt shortness of breath and exhausted. Her mom, Dara Barnett, says this came out of left field. 

“Felt like we got hit by a Mack truck. Did not see it coming at all,” she said.

Dad Brad Barnett says diabetes is the last thing they thought their kid would get.

“She’s healthy. I mean she was healthy. She ate vegetables as snacks,” he said.

Mom hopes hearing Addee’s story will save parents and other children a scary trip to the hospital. 

“If you feel like something is even the slightest bit off, it’s a simple blood test,” she said. 

So, when Addee Barnett is done on the ice, it’s back to the car, and time for her insulin.

“And then it beeps when it’s done,” she said as her insulin pump finished doing its job. 

Then it’s time to eat. All just in time for her first class. 

“I’m not letting T1D take me down,” she said.

Type 1 diabetes - the rare chronic condition in kids - unlike Type 2 diabetes - isn’t caused by poor dieting. The pancreas of a Type 1 diabetic produces little or no insulin. Insulin helps your body get nutrition out of the food you eat. 

Type 1 diabetics are usually diagnosed when they’re children or young adults. Fewer than 200,000 Type 1 diabetes cases are diagnosed every year in the U.S.

Now that Addee Barnett has diabetes under control, she’ll return to YMCA Charlotte’s summer camp next year.