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Power of Our People

A Butterfly’s Touch

12-year-old takes the sting out of blood sugar testing

Katy Hamner was more nervous leaving the hospital with her 10-year-old daughter, Avery Graves, than when she took her home as a newborn. A simple visit to their family doctor, which revealed Graves had Type 1 diabetes, had turned into days in the intensive care unit.

“We had nobody when she was first diagnosed—nobody to turn to,” Hamner said.

Things didn’t get much better when they got home. Graves had a hard time coping with a new lifestyle that included checking her blood sugar levels multiple times a day—a painful process.

So Hamner and Graves, now 12, members of Medina Electric Cooperative, started the Painless Butterfly Project, which funds painless lancing devices for children with Type 1 diabetes. They’ve funded and distributed 25 of the devices in the Hondo area, west of San Antonio, forming a community along the way.

“It’s been really good for her,” Hamner said. “When she starts getting … kind of upset about things, we’ll have a kid or doctor that calls us, and I’ll be like, ‘Time to go.’ And it kind of brings her back: ‘OK, I’m not the only one.’ ”