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Diabetic patient creates graphic novel to help other patients understand the disease

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2018-02-09 11:35

About the solution

"The only clue as to why I was in the hospital was a thick, text-heavy book on my bedside table titled "Pink Panther's Guide to Understanding Type 1 Diabetes", the girl explained.

Lohitha had no idea what was happening on her body and felt responsible for developing diabetes. Her doctor drew a pancreas to explain how the disease works, but the patient wasn't able to understand why she would be needing to make so many meds. Besides that, she felt that the book she was given was too technical, especially for kids.

"It was supposed to be friendly for kids but it's just a bunch of text and numbers. It's really helpful for your parents to read so they know what to do when you can't take care of yourself at a young age", the inventor said.

So, in 2017, Lohitha developed a graphic novel that allows diabetic children to have more access to information that is more entertaining and relatable than the book she was given, so that they can understand their condition better.

After doing some research, the student invented a graphic novel that tells the story of a heroine, Kaci, a 10-year-old African-American girl who has just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She had the help of a professor so that she could make sure that the graphic novel accurately presented the physiology of Type 1 diabetes.

Lohitha's goal is to distribute this invention in pediatrician's office. She wants to test its effectiveness by surveying readers who are pediatric patients at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and students in Richmond Public Schools. In order to do so, she is exploring inexpensive printing options so that the novel can be available to as many kids as possible.

"Not until years later did I understand the biochemical and physiological nature of the disease. I hope that any children diagnosed with diabetes in the future will not have to experience the loneliness and confusion that I did", the girl noted.

Adapted from: http://bit.ly/2H315SC

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com

About the author

Lohitha Kethu, born in 1997, lives in the USA and is a medical illustration major in the Communication Arts Program at Virginia Commonwealth University's (VCU) School of the Arts. When she was 10 years told, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Lohitha developed a graphic novel to help children adjust to life post-diagnosis because the book she was given at the hospital wasn't helpful.

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