BELL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The City of Middlesboro honored Middlesboro Middle School student Shayla Ruiz on Thursday, with a proclamation in her honor for her fight with Type 1 Diabetes.
The proclamation declared November as Diabetes Awareness Month.
It is a disease that often times people go years without having a diagnosis when they began to have symptoms. Which is why officials called it "the silent killer."
"You don't think about young people involved, having any kind of sickness or illness," said Middlesboro Mayor, Rick Nelson.
For Shayla Ruiz, that is her reality. She was diagnosed at just 10 years old, back in 2017.
"As soon as they seen her, they diagnosed her right away that they thought she was a type 1," said her mother, Julie Ruiz. "I don't know, it's kind of like you're there but you're not there. That, you just want to take it away from her, but you can't."
It was something that put Shayla and her family at a complete loss and shock.
"At the time I didn't really know the extent of it until I started learning. Then it's like, that's when it hit me. When the doctors were telling me what it was," Julie said.
Now, Shayla has learned to manage it. However, it is something she still has to deal with every day.
"Breakfast and lunch I have to count carbs and I put it in my pump. And like, my sugar I put it in my pump and like I have to take the insulin. So, I'll go to the nurse like every day," said Shayla.
Shayla recently got a new insulin pump. She is happy about going from nearly 4-5 shots a day, to only one every three days.
Having the proclamation, as well as the support from her school the entire month, makes Shayla feel she is not alone in her fight.
"It just made me a lot more happier because before nobody really knew what it was. And, now that we're doing all this it's just like everybody is going to know more about more about it," Shayla added.
Shayla's family is encouraging everyone to post pictures wearing blue through the month of November. When they do, the family asks that you use #TeamShayla in the caption to bring awareness.