I made my way to the doctor’s office with my 9-year-old son and a nagging instinct that something was wrong. Alec had been acting strangely for a few months, alternating between exhaustion and hyperactivity, and experiencing extreme mood swings that were uncharacteristic for him. He was losing weight and he was thirsty all the time. Explaining these symptoms to the pediatrician, I'll never forget the knowing look in her eyes as she told us she suspected Alec had Type 1 diabetes.
The doctor confirmed Alec’s blood sugar was 387, far higher than the normal range of 80 to 120. We were sent directly to the hospital where Alec received his first insulin injection. Although this was the first of many injections for him, he accepted his new reality with a grace beyond his years.
Since Alec’s diagnosis, not one day has passed that he hasn’t received multiple injections. Over 1,800 needles in 12 months (yep, I counted). He has an average of four shots a day and about 6 to 10 finger pokes. Alec has mastered the art of counting carbohydrates and now proudly gives himself his own injections. My forgetful little boy reminds me not to leave the house without his supplies. And although diabetes is always present, it has not slowed Alec down from living a full life. He excels at school, plays competitive sports and has sleepovers with friends. He is a wonderful son and brother and I know he will be an amazing father one day. He’s the bravest person I know.
Over the last several months, Alec’s diabetes has become easier to manage. We’re grateful for the gift of insulin but we maintain constant hope for a cure. Over 3 million people (mostly diagnosed as children) live with Type 1 diabetes. And this number is rapidly increasing.
In honor of Alec, and the millions of people who are living with Type 1 Diabetes, we are participating in the 2016 Tough Mudder Michigan to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Our fundraising goal is $1,500. Please consider donating to our team, or join us in racing and raising funds for this worthwhile cause. For more information on Type 1 Diabetes, please visit www.jdrf.org.