Democrat Photo by Rob Potter
READY TO WALK: The members of the Krom family ö clockwise from lower left, Kevin, Mary Beth, Kevin and Rachel ö display the t-shirts they will wear at this weekendâs walk to fight diabetes.
Local Boy and Girl To
Benefit From Walk
By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE ÷ September 19, 2000 ö Like a typical six-year-old boy, Kevin Krom smiled Friday afternoon as he watched a small caterpillar crawl slowly up his arm.
Of course, Kromâs mother, Mary Beth, warned the second-grader not to let the furry visitor make itself too comfortable in the family home.
Kevin, still smiling, continued to watch intently as the caterpillar meandered back down his arm towards the kitchen table.
A few seconds later, when young Kevin was asked what it is like to have diabetes, the smile faded.
ãIt stinks,ä he quickly replied.
Since being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes in September 1999, Kevin and his family ö which includes Mary Beth, his father Kevin and five-year-old sister Rachel ö have been dealing with and learning about diabetes.
Until a few weeks ago, Kevin had to endure countless pricks of his finger to test his blood sugar and to get insulin shots three or four times a day. He now wears a Disetranic Pump on his side. The pump has decreased the number of injections Kevin must have, but he must wear the pump 24 hours a day. And he and his parents must constantly monitor his blood sugar level and carefully schedule when and what he should eat.
Considering diabetes is incurable, thereâs little more doctors can do.
But thatâs not stopping the Kroms.
This Sunday in Kingston, the Krom family and hundreds of other people will be walking to fight diabetes and raise money for a cure. The family will participate in the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Walk To Cure Diabetes at Tech City in Kingston, one of several such walks in the Hudson Valley.
The Kroms will be joined by several other family members and friends, marching as ãKevinâs Courageous Diabetes Karate Team.ä (Although Kevin and some of his fellow team members plan to ride their bikes instead of walking.)The team name comes from Nesbittâs Tae Kwon Do in Warwarsing, where Kevin takes weekly karate classes.
But Kevinâs team will not be the only Sullivan County walkers in Kingston. Dana Roeder of Hortonville and her family and friends will be walking as ãDanaâs Dream Team.ä Members of both squads will ride to the walk on a Rolling V bus. (Kevin and his family met Dana and her relatives at a meeting of Super Sweet Kids, a support group for diabetic children and their families that meets the first Friday of each month at Community General Hospital in Harris.)
For the past several weeks, the Kroms have sent letters to or visited people in the Grahamsville area to inform them of the walk and ask for a donation. Kevinâs letter asking for help was also printed in the Tri-Valley Townsman, a Grahamsville paper. (The letter also appears on page 9A of todayâs Democrat.)
ãThe response has been wonderful,ä said Mary Beth Krom. ãA lot of Kevinâs buddies donât have diabetes, but they are giving up their Sunday activities like soccer games to walk with Kevin. Iâm so thankful for their parents, teaching their kids that itâs important to support a friend.ä
Many of those friends who will walk with Kevin, and others at the Tri-Valley Elementary School, have emptied their piggy banks to make donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
Mary Beth Krom noted that many area businesses have also made donations and/or helped out in some way. They include Advance Auto of Liberty, Buddenhagen Ford, Inc. of Hortonville, Eastern Federal Savings Bank, Grahamsville Deli, Grahamsville Hardware, Jeffersonville Pharmacy, Landerâs RiverMart in Callicoon, Liberty Diner, Lisaâs Autumn Inn of Callicoon, Lisaâs Luncheonette in Liberty, The Medicine Shoppe in Liberty, Napoli Pizza of Liberty, Perfect Ten of Liberty, ShopRite, Sugar Loaf Garage in Grahamsville, Video Mania in Liberty and Noel Vincente Salon of Monticello.
Kevinâs father noted that the family has also received help from the local Lions Club. In addition, a diabetic gentleman called to donate some extra blood test strips and needles.
ãPeople have been so nice,ä the elder Kevin remarked.
While diabetes has greatly affected his life, young Kevin likes to stay active. He enjoys his karate classes and gym classes at school.
ãHe likes to do everything,ä his father noted. ãHeâs a strong kid.ä
But battling diabetes is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job.
ãWe want a cure,ä the elder Kevin said of the disease, which is the leading cause of blindness in North America and kills one American every three minutes.
Those wishing to sponsor Kevin and his team can send a donation to the Krom family at P.O. Box 99, Grahamsville, NY 12740. Those wishing to sponsor Dana Roederâs team can send a donation to the Roeder family at 33 Knack Hill Road, Hortonville, NY 12745, or drop it off at Buddenhagenâs Ford, which is run by Danaâs father, Hal. Checks should be made out to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.