DearREADERS,Mr. Myrt and I spent the morning at the Utah State Capitol to support our grandson Tannon on World Diabetes Day. Tannon was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was two. This guy is a smart 3rd grader and as you can see, handsome as all get out. He just finished a major bedroom remodel involving tearing up his carpet, installing new wood flooring and paneling below the chair rail.
Tannon single-handedly painted the upper walls, inviting his mom to do the "cutting in" around the window sill and door frames. Tannon chose the stains and paint for the wood paneling, giving it a variegated look that's out of this world. Mom reports he did most of the work himself. Tannon has plans to build a tree house in the corner of his room, and has discussed plans with Mr. Myrt on just how best to do this. Pretty awesome kid, huh?
Since Tannon is 9 years old, he has been dealing with Type 1 diabetes for 7 years. To manage his blood sugar he endures about 7 finger pricks to test his blood each day, and that's on a good day. That amounts to a minimum of 17,836 finger pricks thus far in his life. Tannon puts a test strip into the testing meter then pricks his finger to extract a few drops of blood for the test strip. In a few seconds, the meter shows the level of glucose (sugar) in Tannon's blood. 106 is a very good number, but it changes quickly due to exercise, food intake, and even environmental factors like a very hot day.
Tannon is fortunate to have an insulin pump that "listens" to the results of his blood tester. The pump clips to his waistband like a cell phone holder. The tube in the lower left has a supply of insulin. Not shown below is the thin tube that goes from the pump to his thigh, where a needle on the tube's end is held in place with very sticky tape. That "pump site" has to be changed every three days. Once we get a reading of Tannon's blood sugar, we then can click the buttons to have the pump disburse insulin from the pump, through the tube, out through the needle into Tannon's thigh in order to get his count closer to normal. We always test just before eating, then count carbs and adjust for what Tannon will be eating.
If this testing isn't done 7 or more times per day, each and every day, (sometimes testing every two hours over night), Tannon simply wouldn't be with us today. We cannot give Tannon too much insulin because this is also potentially fatal.
Here's a picture with of Tannon and his mom +Stacey Warnick and former Senator Jake Garn at today's special conference at the Utah State Capitol building. Tannon thinks it is cool that Senator Garn is also an astronaut.
With better awareness, funding, and research we can cure this disease! Jdrf Advocacy #ndam #t1d4aday #jdrf
From my personal experiences as Tannon's grandmother:
It has been heart breaking to hear some of the Type1 kids Tannon knows have passed away in their sleep in the past four years.
It is terrifying that we must check Tannon to be sure his blood sugar doesn't go too low. When I care for Tannon, we set two alarms so I won't fall into a deep sleep. The alarms remind me to get up and test Tannon's blood sugar to be sure he's OK. Sometimes I have to call his mom Stacey in the middle of these nighttime tests to be sure my thinking is clear about the need to dose or not. The right amount of insulin is literally a matter of life or death for my precious grandson. -- Hats off to Stacey for the calm way she handles the heavy responsibility. I try to give Stacey and Steve time away together a few times a year, but I know they can never relax. We continue to PRAY for a cure. And we pray Tannon can live long enough to receive the cure.
We are a wealthy, powerful country. Our children shouldn't have to face this terror. We eradicated polio and smallpox. Let's get those artificial pancreas studies DONE, improved, and the final product out to our nation's type1 children. They are our future.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
International Diabetes Federation
JDRF - Juveline Diabetes Research Foundation
"JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D.
As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $530 million in scientific research in 17 countries. In 2012 alone, JDRF provided more than $110 million to T1D research. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education. In 2012 Forbes magazine named JDRF one of its five All-Star charities, citing the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness." Source: http://jdrf.org/press-releases/jdrf-teams-up-with-pfizers-centers-for-therapeutic-innovation-to-support-novel-translational-research-in-type-1-diabetes/
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