Diabetes Spotlight: Luke

I’d like to introduce you to Luke. I met Luke and his parents in January, not long after Luke was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He is a very sweet young man and his parents are warm and friendly and the kind of people we all want to know.

Luke is 10 years old. He and his parents live in a small town by a very big lake. Like most 10 year olds, Luke likes the same things other 10 year old boys like. You might say Luke is simply another happy-go-lucky kid.

However, Luke’s mother is battling cancer. This makes a heavy burden for any son to carry. Luke and his mom and his dad all work together to handle the ups and downs that life hands you when loved ones are facing devastating challenges.

When a child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, many parents believe life has handed them something very unfair. “Why did this have to happen to him?” or “why did this have to happen to us?” is what we ask ourselves over and over again.

Although no one has the answers to some of our hardest questions, we can either suffer in our own pity, or we can stand up and say, “Hey! Life is good!” That is what Luke and his parents are doing; and to me, that makes Luke a very special young man.

Luke, with a little help from his mother, wrote a paper to read to his class at school. They gave me a copy of his paper, and now, I’d like to share it with you. Job well done, Luke!



Help! My Pancreas Doesn’t Work!!

My mom started worrying about me because I started losing weight really fast. She took me to the doctor and the doctor said that it was from me worrying about her cancer. My mom then asked the doctor to run blood tests on me anyway. The doctor shed a tear and looked at my mom to say that I had type 1 diabetes.

The next day we all went to a class and learned that this meant that my pancreas stopped working. Since my pancreas wasn’t working I had to find out what a pancreas was and how to work for it.

The pancreas is a long, flat gland in my belly. It sits right behind my stomach. My body’s immune system attacked my own pancreas and destroyed the cells that made my insulin. Insulin helps my body move sugar from my bloodstream into the cells in the rest of my body. The cells can then use the sugar for energy.

Only 10% of people with diabetes have the type that I have which won’t ever make insulin again. “Just getting the genes for diabetes isn’t usually enough. Forty percent of Caucasians actually carry this gene but it takes a viral infection to bring it about,” is what I was told.

My mom is really proud of me because I test my own blood by myself and I also inject myself with insulin five times a day.

My Uncle Warren also has type 1 diabetes. He has five kids and a beautiful life. He let me stay with him the first weekend that I was diagnosed. I know that I still have a good future. My mom praises God that he has given us all strength to work for my pancreas. Now, because of my small needle and the insulin fluid, I will be okay and I can live as long as the rest of my friends.