Family Raising Funds for Diabetes Research Alesis' Story Rallies Walkers
Silvestri, Scott, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Scott Silvestri Daily Herald Staff Writer
Just days before her third birthday, Alexis Marsalli had no energy and was getting sick.
After a trip to the doctor's office, her symptoms were labeled a result of the flu.
But not long after that visit, breathing for the young girl became shallow and her parents, Cindy and Peter, rushed her to the hospital, fearing the worst.
"I really thought we were going to lose her," said Cindy Marsalli of Wildwood.
Once in the emergency room at Highland Park Hospital, it didn't take doctors long to figure out that Alexis didn't have the flu. Instead, they determined she was suffering from symptoms of diabetes.
After four days spent in three different hospitals, doctors made their diagnosis of the disease official - on Alexis' third birthday.
"Some birthday present, huh?" Cindy Marsalli said. "It was very overwhelming."
Now, two years later, the Woodland Elementary School kindergartner is able to fit in with the rest of her classmates.
Aside from the daily routine - three or four shots of insulin and six or seven prick tests to measure the sugar levels in her blood - Alexis is able to live like most children her age.
She is among 5.9 percent, or 15.7 million, of the country's population that suffers from diabetes. Alexis has Type 1 diabetes, the form of the disease found in children or young adults, said Holly Kaminski, a district manager for the American Diabetes Association.
That form of the disease causes the body to stop producing insulin. It accounts for 10 percent of the nation's diabetes cases. …