Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Monday, April 14, 2008

Raise Your Voice About Type 1 Diabetes

If you've come here on purpose to see what I've written, or you clicked on a link that Google provided while you were doing a search, please take a moment to read this. It's about my son who has Type 1 diabetes and I'd like to raise your awarness about it:

From the World Health Organization:
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.... Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
  • Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent or childhood-onset) is characterized by a lack of insulin production. Without daily administration of insulin, Type 1 diabetes is rapidly fatal.
Without the daily administration of insulin, Type 1 diabetes is rapidly fatal.


Like any other kid:
Brendon loves baseball...his favorite positions are pitcher, catcher, and 3rd base. He rides his bike. He writes notes to the girls he likes. He collects baseball cards. He loves school and especially recess where he plays touch football with a group of boys...every day!

Unlike any other kid: He is 8 years old and has had diabetes since he was 2 1/2 years old. We have to monitor his blood sugars all day long and through the night every single day by pricking his finger with a lancet device and applying the drawn blood to a test strip in a glucose meter to get a reading of his blood sugar levels. We also have to check him extra times during all activities.

If his blood sugar is too high, we have to give him insulin through his insulin pump to bring his blood sugar to a normal range (between 80-125). If it is too low (under 70) then we must give him a fast acting sugar like juice in order to raise his blood sugar. Other children need to receive anywhere from 2 to over 4 needle injections per day.

How many of you adults are afraid of shots? Imagine a child having to endure this all day, every day, for the rest of their lives. For the rest of their lives..........

With all of this monitoring and treatment with insulin, it is nearly impossible to keep his blood sugar in range. We are merely doing the best we can to prevent the immediate effect of death from a low blood sugar and future complications from high blood sugar.

He also must receive insulin everytime he eats food or drinks a beverage with carbohydrates in it. We must monitor his carbohydrate intake for that is how we determine how much insulin he must receive to regulate his blood sugar. Carbohydrates cause the blood sugar to rise.

High blood sugar, overtime, will cause complications like blindness, organ failure, limb amputations and many other body destroying complications. It is one of the only diseases that has the ability to cause destruction of nearly every organ and body part.

Low blood sugar is an emergency situation where if it isn't treated promptly will result in unconciousness leading to coma leading to death. The effects are nearly instantaneous. The cause of the bodily shut down is that glucose (blood sugar) is the only source of energy the brain receives. When the brain doesn't receive enough glucose due to low blood sugar levels, it begins to starve to death and in turn begins to shut down the body.

Brendon is lucky enough to have been born during the right time in history. If he was born before 1922 (when the discovery of insulin was first tested on a human being) Type 1 diabetes would be a death sentence within months...or if he was lucky he would die within weeks. I say lucky because to die slowly without any administration of insulin to help him survive is a miserable, painful process.

We do what we can to provide him with a near normal life. He plays with his friends, he does very well in school, and he loves to ride his bike. But, while he does these normal things, my husband and I (along with his school nurse and teachers and friends) are on constant vigil.

We can never take a moment to forget he has Type 1 diabetes. We can't take a break from his care. If we do, the effects will be devastating and even deadly.


  • Thank you for this Shannon. I also want to thank you and Jeff for doing all that you do to make Brendon's life so fulfilling in spite of his diabetes! He's lucky to have you both.

    By Blogger Jillian, at 4/14/2008 10:24 AM  

  • ((((((hugs!!!))))))

    good job, mama.

    By Blogger Lea, at 4/14/2008 1:29 PM  

  • Well said.

    By Blogger C.L.W., at 4/14/2008 2:04 PM  

  • You're amazing.

    By Blogger Beth, at 4/14/2008 2:26 PM  

  • Awesome blog post Shannon :) Thanks for writing this.

    By Blogger Jamie, at 4/14/2008 2:33 PM  

  • Great Job Shannon!
    Diabetic Parents are amazing!

    By Blogger k2, at 4/14/2008 2:47 PM  

  • Kick-ass post, Shannon.

    By Blogger Kerri., at 4/14/2008 3:24 PM  

  • Great post Shannon. Boy, I sure can see a lot of you in him in that picture!

    By Blogger Scott K. Johnson, at 4/14/2008 3:39 PM  

  • Shannon, That was perfect. You are such an awesome person.

    By Blogger Vivian, at 4/14/2008 4:02 PM  

  • Another of your great posts - Brendon is a fortunate young man.

    By Blogger Colleen, at 4/14/2008 5:26 PM  

  • Ditto to all of the above. And, like Scott, I also see a lot of you in that handsome little face.

    By Blogger Minnesota Nice, at 4/14/2008 7:00 PM  

  • Great post, Shannon. And I love the picture. He is quite a cutie!

    By Blogger Donna, at 4/14/2008 7:51 PM  

  • Great post!
    I have nothing but respect for the parents of diabetics. I have only been doing this as an adult and I cannot even imagine what you all do!

    By Blogger Sara, at 4/14/2008 9:00 PM  

  • Oh, darn. I messed up again. Two blogs is way too much for my brain to handle.

    The beth above is me.


    And you're still amazing.

    By OpenID insearchofbalance, at 4/14/2008 9:19 PM  

  • Amazing post, Shannon.

    By Blogger Sandra Miller, at 4/14/2008 10:46 PM  

  • great post, thank you!!

    By OpenID snd1590, at 4/14/2008 11:20 PM  

  • Beautifully written, you covered everything so very well. Tell Brendon to show some mongo appreciation! :)

    By Blogger Naomi, at 4/15/2008 7:58 AM  

  • I could not have said it better. Great post. Brendon is a very lucky boy.

    By Blogger Carey, at 4/15/2008 9:29 AM  

  • Great post Shannon! Also like any other kid your son is becomming increasingly interested in girls as you mention in previous posts!!!

    By Blogger Wingman, at 4/15/2008 11:18 AM  

  • Just catching up on some blog reading.

    Your post gave me chills. You stated so elegantly why finding a cure is so important.


    By Blogger Penny, at 4/16/2008 2:45 PM  

  • Great post and links, Shannon. I hope you got a lot of new traffic through here reading and clicking!

    By Blogger Paige, at 4/17/2008 9:06 PM  

  • Shannon,

    You should really research options on how to help the Stem Cell initiative in your area - it's the only hope for a cure for Juvenile Diabetes right now (unfortunately)! My fiance' is running the stem cell ballot initiative here in Michigan and the more I learn, the more it makes me angry that more people aren't aware of the great benefits of using MEDICAL WASTE to treat and cure those who don't have hope right now. Good luck, and good job for speaking out on this issue! Your son is lucky to have you! By the way, I found you through Jilly...

    By Blogger AmyD, at 4/18/2008 3:24 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Jenn Breton Dearborn, at 7/24/2008 12:18 AM  

  • Shannon,

    I came across your blog during a late night search of Google. Austin and I miss the diabetes support group meetings. I look forward to meeting monthly again this fall.

    This week I submitted our application for the 2009 Children's Congress -- an opportunity to travel with Austin to Washington, DC and talk to our government representatives about what it's like living with type 1 and why it's important to fund type 1 research. There is nothing I want more than to see a cure for diabetes in Austin's lifetime.

    By Blogger Jenn Breton Dearborn, at 7/24/2008 12:19 AM  

  • wow this is a great post, I am very concerned however, with my neighbor, her son has had ill health and great health since he has been born. He barely over 2 and he doctor's can't seem to figure him out. He has had sugar in the urine, extreme fatigue, lactose intolerance, extreme hunger and thirst after viral attacks. He is over 2 and still fits in 12-18 mo old clothes unlike his brothers. I have been pushing for a diabetes test, is this anything you experienced early on with your son? I am so curious and I want him to be healthy. The mother is on state health insurance, and after all his episodes of going up and down and doctors saying he's fine wait it out....blah blah blah I am concerned he might have type 1 diabetes or celiac disease (which he has tested negative for according to his mother in the past at age 1) so please let me knowif this can change as time goes on or what advice to give her, she is at her wits end. BTW he usually will have low blood sugar, but after a viral attack he will eat and drink and pee like crazy and his level will be at 100. Any thoughts? I would love to talk to someone personally because the last thing I want is for him to be in a comatose state (which he has almost been in before eyes rolling in the back of his head etc...) when he was 1.5 so please let me know if this sounds familiar. She will be going to the doctor tomorrow and demanding a type 1 test...Pray for Peyton please!!! He is sick and has been sick with I don't know what but the has yet to be diagnosed because he is so young..

    By Blogger suzyq_psu, at 7/31/2008 2:16 AM  

  • Suzyq,

    Email me so that I have an address to email you back.

    It sort of sounds like Type 1 symptoms, but I'd like to go over your comment and point some things out and ask questions. It can be better done through email.

    my address is:

    By Blogger Shannon, at 7/31/2008 6:27 AM  

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