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Hampshire Regional High School freshman works to raise awareness of diabetes

WESTHAMPTON — For the second year in a row, Hampshire Regional High School student Clara Thatcher is organizing a Diabetes Awareness Week at her school.

Thatcher, who is in her freshman year at Hampshire Regional, began the event last year as a middler schooler in honor of her father, Charles, who died of the disease in 2009.

This year’s awareness week, to be held Nov. 12-16, will feature a “fact of the day” about diabetes broadcast over the high school’s public address system, sales of red wristbands and and a fundraising raffle. Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Association.

The Association defines diabetes as a group of diseases characterized by high blood sugar levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce or use insulin. Complications can include high blood pressure, nerve damage and kidney disease - among other problems.

Last year, students raised $286 during Awareness Week at Hampshire Regional and Thatcher is hoping to best that total this time around.

“This year, I have more people involved,” she said, while taking a break from hanging up posters at her school on Friday.

Her mother, Amanda Caputo of Worthington, said the school community “has been amazingly supportive and helpful with the event.”

For those wishing to donate, checks can be made out to the American Diabetes Association and mailed to Thatcher at 382 Dingle Road, Cummington, MA 01026.

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