My name is Rebecca. My son Luke was diagnosed at 12 months old with Type 1 diabetes, he is now 17 years old. He's my hero as I am sure all parents of diabetic children will say. I can't help but feel a need to share his experience with Type 1 diabetes.
When Luke was brought to the emergency room 16 years ago this month, he was close to death, at 15 pounds and a blood sugar of 1200, the doctors could not predict his fate. He was so dehydrated that they had to poke him for an hour before they were able to get an I-V into his body. He stayed in the hospital for 8 long days, but we experienced a miracle and were never the same.
In 16 years of living with diabetes, Luke has never been ashamed. He has never complained or said why me. I have calculated that thus far he has received over 35,000 needle pricks and 30,000 insulin shots without 1 complaint!
Luke is a natural born athlete, loved every sport and excelled in all of them. He had no problem with me checking his sugar on side lines, pulling him aside when I was scared he might run low. One year his football coach gave him a special trophy, because he was so moved by his grace in dealing with his disease along with him leading the team to winning the "super bowl" as a running back.
At 9 years old Luke's sugar began to become difficult to manage for no reason, his growth came to a halt. And we had doctors scratching their heads, because all his levels were normal and he passed growth hormone testing with no problems. This continued for 3 more years. Luke began to be judged on his stature. Coaches would immediately dismiss him based on his size. Luke had to work 150% to gain respect on the field. It broke our hearts to see him struggle to be respected. And finally after 3 years of no answers someone on our insurance board asked if he was ever tested for Celiac???
Yes, Celiac disease! Not only did Luke have diabetes but now another auto immune disease was attacking him. His GI doctor said it was the worst case of villi atrophy he had ever seen. Again, no questions of why. Luke just did what he does best and that was to commit to his health. He ate strictly gluten free and within one year his AIC improved, he grew 6 inches and gained 20 lbs. We later learned that you have a 20% chance of getting a second auto immune disease once you have one.
Luke is a junior at St. Anthony's High School in Huntington NY, one of the best private schools on Long Island with one of the top athletic programs on the east coast. Luke has a 95 GPA, a member of the National Honor Society, On the Varsity travel lacrosse team soon to enter Lacrosse varsity tryouts.
Luke's dream is to be committed to a Division 1 college and enter into a pre med program. He has already received many letters and communications from coaches, and I have no doubt his dreams will come true because his heart is big and wide.
He is my hero, and a hero to all diabetic children who meet him. He gives them hope, and as a mother, could you ask for anything else??
Our family is heading to Disney this February for our last family trip before college and work schedule's begin to take over, we CANNOT WAIT!
PS: Not only was Luke diagnosed with Celiac disease, but his sister Rachel was as well. Because of them and their disease we launched Rachel Lu Gluten Free Foods. They are the best inspiration.