DETROIT, Michigan - During the late summer of 2021, the International Children's Advisory Network, Inc. (iCAN) KIDS Michigan/ Young Adult Members, Reece and Olivia Ohmer were approached by freelance photographer Sarah Rice @SarahRicePhotography to participate in the documentation of the millions of people the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considered to be 'High Risk' for complications due to COVID-19. This collaboration was identified by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a group that the Ohmer sisters have been a part of since their Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) diagnosis in 2006 and 2009. Both sisters attended ADA Camp Midicha and the national ADA Call for Congress in Washington, D.C.. As ongoing iCAN Youth Members, both girls continue to support their local community by sharing their stories of living with chronic and complicated medical conditions. As Reece, age 20, explains, "It is the simple things that often make the biggest impact. By openly sharing our lives, I know we are helping to support the need for better treatments and faster cures for everyone."
T1D, an autoimmune condition with no identified cure, was identified early on by the CDC as having the potential for patients to endure adverse symptoms of COVID-19 that may not be easily managed. Shared Olivia, age 18, "I had to change everything and adjust to being extra careful by staying at home to protect not just me, but my sister too." To help share the views of those like Olivia and Reece that needed to be cautious in not contracting COVID-19, Rice determined that a spotlight was needed to capture the high-risk community in a series of documented images and personal stories.
From @InsideNatGeo:"I wanted to check on them to see how they've been faring and share some of their stories", explained Rice. She continued, "It's such a diverse wide ranging group of individuals. I was hoping that in the end, I'd have a portrait series as well as an informal guide for anyone going through a health issue and those who wish to support them.
To read more about the project through Rice's story-telling efforts and to see all of the portraits, visit https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/how-ten-million-high-risk-americans-are-coping-with-the-pandemic?loggedin=true. Additionally, visit National Geographic on Instagram @Natgeo and at @InsideNatGeo to learn more. Feel free to like, share and #highriskcommunity to help support others that may continue to feel alone or islolated. At iCAN, we know #iCANMakeADifference.
To learn more about our kids chapters, or how to further participate in the upcoming iCAN Summit to be held in Lyon, France from July 11th - July 15th, 2022, please visit www.iCANResearch.org.
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