Businessolver Blog

Diagnosed With T1D at an Early Age

Diagnosed With T1D at an Early Age
Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016 by Kevin Christopher

Throughout Q2 of 2016 Businessolver and its employees have been supporting JDRF, an organization focused on finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. We want to share meaningful stories that will inspire and engage people, as well as heighten awareness of our quarterly charity. Understanding our mission, Kevin Christopher, a Client Relationship Specialist at Businessolver, wanted to share his story!

“I was 7 years-old when my doctor told me that my life would never be the same. At the age of 7 I was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes, or Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Being that young, I had no idea what diabetes was and how it would affect me for the rest of my life.

It was Christmas break and my family and I drove from Des Moines, IA to Greensboro, NC to see family for the holidays. I remember being extremely thirsty and irritable the entire trip there and back. While making the 15 hour drive, we didn’t miss one rest stop because I was constantly drinking water and using the restroom. I didn’t eat much of anything while on break and I lost a tremendous amount of weight, which was odd for being an average size 7 year-old. At the time my parents didn’t know the symptoms of T1D, so they figured it was some kind of flu bug that I would overcome. Obviously that wasn’t the case.

A few weeks went by and I was still showing the same symptoms and still losing a lot of weight. My parents decided to finally take me to see the doctor. This is when my whole world changed. The doctor came in and told my parents and myself, that I most likely have juvenile diabetes. Again, I’m 7 years-old and have no idea what diabetes means, but I was scared. When the doctor delivered the news, my mom broke down and cried. I asked her what was wrong; she told me ‘you’re going to have to take shots every day from now on.’ This is when I realized that my whole life was going to change and I was terrified.

After spending a week at Blank Children’s Hospital, learning how to cope with the disease, I finally returned to school and my ‘new life.’ I had to give myself insulin shots 3-5 times a day on top of pricking my fingers 7-9 times a day to monitor my blood glucose levels. At the time I hated giving myself shots, constantly monitoring what I was eating, checking to see what my glucose levels were and having to wear a fanny pack everywhere I went will all of my supplies. But, these are the things I had to do just to survive and live a ‘normal life.’

Around age 10, my life as a T1D became a little better. I received my first insulin pump that I still use to this day to manage my diabetes. The insulin pump was a huge relief to me, as I would no longer have to give myself shots multiple times a day, or have to manually calculate the amount of insulin I needed to number of carbohydrates I ate. If you see me around the office, know that no, that is not a pager on my belt: it is my life support, aka my insulin pump.

There is no cure for T1D. I and 1.25 million other juvenile diabetics in the U.S. have this disease the rest of their lives. Yes, as technology gets better we continue to find ways to better manage our diabetes, but there is still no cure. My pledge to you is to support the JDRF and sign up for a JDRF One Walk. Your donations will go towards finding a cure for Juvenile Diabetes, so hopefully one day we can turn Type 1 into Type None.”