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Tracy Brokmeier's Fundraiser:

Friends of The Diabetes Dude

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Tracy Brokmeier


My name is Noah and I am known world-wide as The Diabetes Dude. Many may know of my diabetes awareness project that I started a few years ago but what you may not know is how Children's Hospital of Boston saved my life....twice!

When I was 6 I became very ill.  For five months, my mom and dad would take me back and forth to my local pediatrician because I was sleeping all the time, I would complain that my heart felt like it was coming out of my chest, I looked pale all the time, and at one point, I started wetting the bed, which I had never done before.  My pediatrician could not figure out just what it was that was causing me to be so sick all the time. 

Finally, on October 3, 2007, I woke up in my bed and yelled for my mom and dad because I couldn't even pick my head off my pillow.  I just felt so weak.  My parents called my doctor and made an appointment.  By the time we got to my doctor, I couldn't even walk or talk, I was just so tired, and so very cold.  My dad had to carry me into the office.  They took one look at me at the office and said I needed to immediately be sent up to Boston Children's Hospital. 

I don't remember much after that.  My mom said the car ride to Boston seemed like forever though.  She said I fell asleep in the car and I kept saying how tired and cold I was. I remember being carried into Children's by my dad and the minute I got there, they took me into a room and started running some tests.  Turns out, I had Type 1 diabetes and I was in what they call diabetic ketoacidosis.  My kidneys were failing. 

Type 1, as I call it, means my pancreas at some point stopped making insulin, which my body needs to turn food into energy.  Kids (and people) like me who are diagnosed with Type 1 will be on insulin injections (by a syringe or a pump) for the rest of our lives, will have to prick our finger 6 to 10 times a day to check our blood sugar, and will have to count and measure everything that we eat from this point forward. 

I had to stay in the hospital for about a week when I was diagnosed but had I not gone to Children's Hospital that day, I would not be here today.  I now manage my diabetes every day with an insulin pump and with a good diet and exercise but it's not without complication. 

In June of 2013, I woke up with a very bad infection on my leg where my insulin pump was.  I went to see my local doctor who put me on an antibiotic but by the next morning, my leg was red and swollen from my groin to my knee and I was having a hard time walking. My mom and dad knew that with diabetes, the risk of losing a limb because of infection was too great to take a chance on so they once again brought me to Children's.

As soon as I got to Children's, they knew exactly what needed to be done.  Turns out, I had a really badly infected cellulitis and abscess in my leg that wound up requiring several days of antibiotics through an IV and a minor procedure to remove the abscess.  I guess you could say I owe them my life and my leg! 

Since my diagnosis in 2007, I have helped raise funds yearly for Boston Children's Hospital by participating in radiothons or helping raise funds for diabetes research and the diabetes programs at Children's. 

We are so lucky to have Children's Hospital of Boston right in our own backyard.  While I hope you never need them, it's good to know they are there if you do.  Their staff is so caring, friendly, and willing to do whatever it takes to help you walk out of their hospital happy and healthy.  And if you do have to stay there, they make it feel like home.  In fact, every time I visit Children's for an appointment, I always feel like I am coming "home".  The staff is like my extended family.  They know me, they know my siblings, and they know my parents.  Isn't that the way all hospitals should be?

I ask that you please make a donation, no matter how small you may think it is to Children's today.  You can help a child in need have a better chance at a healthy life by making a donation.  Make even a $5 donation and please share this link.  I would love for friends of mine who are affected by diabetes to make a small donation because this donation doesn't just represent me, it represents all people living with diabetes. 



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4 years ago