This first story means more to me than you can imagine. It is my own personal story. It is hard to write, but it is well worth spreading the message to help others. I hope you will take the time to read it especially since it has to do with our children.
You go through 9 months carrying your unborn child wondering… what color hair or eyes your child will have? Will it be a girl or boy? Will your child have all 10 fingers and all 10 toes? Will your child be healthy? Well I did just that and more.
Two years before I got pregnant with my son, I had a miscarriage. I took it hard. I blamed myself, but in reality, I did nothing wrong. It just wasn’t meant to be. So when I got pregnant again, I was beyond worried I would lose another child. My Grandmother in law gave me a St. Jude pin and I carried that everyday with me, praying that I do not lose another child.
In 2002, my beautiful, blue eyed , HEALTHY baby boy was born. All 10 fingers and all 10 toes were there. He was here with me, breathing and alive in my arms. What I prayed for was finally here.
Well, all was true except I didn’t know , he really wasn’t healthy. We didn’t know that his body was slowly attacking his insulin producing cells in his pancreas. We had no idea that at 5 1/2 years old , he would be insulin dependant. My son has Type 1 Diabetes.
As he was slowly killing off his insulin producing cells, he was getting sicker and sicker. I knew something was wrong. So in and out of the doctor’s office to be told he was fine and nothing was wrong. Until the last week before he was diagnosed, a voice in my head told me…. “your son has diabetes”. Don’t know why I would think that. I knew nothing about diabetes. I took him to the doctor’s office again to tell them what I thought, only to be told he was fine again. That answer did not sit well with me this time, so I made my husband rush him to the hospital. Shortly after, my husband calls with the devastating news.
When the diagnosis was confirmed , I couldn’t believe it. What I knew about diabetes was old or obese people get it…. NOT CHILDREN. I was so wrong.
Each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults – approximately 80 people per day – are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the U.S.
So as you can imagine, our lives were torn upside down. Our little healthy boy was not very healthy at all. His life was changed forever. Numerous finger sticks, attached to an insulin pump 24 hours a day, counting carbs and weighing food is his new way of life just to survive and stay as healthy as he can be. With all of this, his sugar levels are still very hard to control. He has many high numbers and many low numbers. It is an everyday constant battle to get the right numbers.
Even though we struggle, we will not give up. As a parent, we will do whatever it takes to help our children. We will fight everyday to get him to those numbers that he needs to stay healthy and survive. He is a strong, intelligent young little man, that I am so proud of. With every finger stick and insulin site change for his pump, he stays strong. He teaches others about his disease by going to class to class and telling them about his condition. He is never afraid to answer questions regarding his disease. He inspires me everyday.
Type 1 diabetes strikes people at any age and it comes on suddenly. It is not caused by eating too much sugar and it is certainly NOT cured by insulin.
Not only does my child inspire me…. so do these children we have met along our journey.
The fight they fight is amazing. We all walk together for JDRF to raise money to find our kids a cure and will not give up until there is one. Our Chapter raised $270,000.00 with the help of all of our teams and many others walking for a cure this year. We all walk together to hopefully help them live a life without needles and with out fear of the many complications they might have along the way. Some of those complications are cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, hypoglycemia, neuropathy and retinopathy.
Please take some time to read their stories and pray for them to keep their faith and never give up finding their cure. Please also take a minute to look at the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes on the JDRF website . It could save your child’s life. I know if I was more aware of this disease, my son would have been diagnosed earlier.
This is my son. Most of his story was told above, but please read what else he has to say. Thank you.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 5 1/2 years old. Before I was diagnosed I was very tired and hungry all the time. The week before my diagnosis, I lost a lot of weight and I kept drinking and urinating ALOT! When I finally found out in the hospital that I have Type 1 Diabetes, my sugar levels were over 800. Normal sugar levels should be between 70-100. My mom took me to the doctor that day before I was diagnosed and they told me I was fine and to get my blood work done in the morning. With that sugar level, if my parents didn’t take me to the hospital that night, I probably would not be here.
My life is a battle to keep my levels in range, but I know this is something I have to do for the rest of my life. I love to walk and raise money for JDRF. This year my team, Team jAck’s Wish, help me raise a little over $6700 to help find me a cure. We were the largest team walking with 115 people in our Chapter. With the 3 years I have walked with my team, we have raised around $18,000. I love to help teach people about my diabetes . I can eat everything you can in moderation and I can play what you can play as long as I test myself and my levels are good. Hopefully me and my friends will have a cure soon. Until then I will play baseball, draw my cartoons and laugh. I love to laugh and make people laugh.
Brett was diagnosed at 5 years old. I’ll never forget chasing him down the halls in the hospital to give him a shot. Days of “why my child” and ” the doctors must be wrong are over”. We have all come to accept Brett’s disease and have moved forward and put all our energy into finding a cure for him and the millions of others suffering from type 1 diabetes. Brett is now 11 years old and doesn’t remember life without needles, finger pricks and the pain associated with diabetes. He has not let this disease hold him back from his love of sports. He is a strong athlete. He plays soccers in two competitve divisons and is captain of his ice hockey team. He puts up with sugar checks in between halfs and lows during games and practices. He picks himself right back up and gets back into the game. Dispite being different on the inside, you would never know he suffers from such a horrible disease. Just because you can’t see his pain doesn’t mean its not there.
Together we will fight diabetes until a cure is found. This year we raised $21,600.00. Hoping that with the 2011 walk Brett’s Brigade will have raised $100,000.00 since we started in 2005.