In November 2008, my 9-year-old son, Evan was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes while he laid in the ER unresponsive.
When my wife & I brought him to the hospital we thought he had a bad flu. He was very tired and thirsty, was nauseated, and was losing some weight. It became very scary when he became disoriented and talking nonsense (something about needing to tie his shoes at 3 in the morning). Little did I know that these are classic symptoms of diabetes.
We learned his blood sugar was at 770 but I had no idea what that meant at the time. Turns out 770 is really high (normal blood sugar is 70-120). After 5 tough days in the hospital he was discharged and now he is living in his new reality…a life with T1D. And let me just say…Diabetes really sucks! If you or someone in your family has diabetes, you know what I’m talking about. It’s not just the medical attention required to manage and respond to diabetes, but the carb counting, documentation, and explanations to friends and family (no-we’re not bad parents that let our son eat nothing but high sugar cereals and play video games all day!), it’s that you know the impact this will have on his health the rest of his life until we find a cure.
Fast forward 5 years and I am happy to say Evan is a healthy 14 year old. He has grown a ton (almost as tall as me!). He eats like a teenager and sleeps like a teenager. Yes, diabetes has its complications. We still measure every carbohydrate he eats and administer insulin. No, it is not without its frustrations for him or us.But, in every passing year we see him take on more and more responsibility in managing his insulin levels and general health. And, we continue to raise funds for JDRF to speed up finding a cure. Many advancements have been made by research in understanding better treatments and root causes.
Since Evan's diagnoses we have participated in the annual JDRF One Walk at the mall of America. It is so inspiring to see 15,000 people, all in different colored shirts supporting their loved ones with diabetes, walking in unison toward a common goal, with each step bringing us closer to a cure. And each year I look forward to seeing friends, family, people we knew from the hospital, as well as numerous vendors with diabetes related products ranging from pumps to low carb food items walking with us and my friends and coworkers. I am so grateful for their support and Evan LOVES having people there with him. He feels like it’s a day just for him, and for us it is. He’s our #1.
Click here to donate to the JDRF One Walk.