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3 months old

Hi, my name is Dan Meharg. I was born in London, Ont July 26, 1961. My mother was told I was the 1st baby born with type 1 diabetes and lived. I am 55 years old now, struggling with this disease, heart failure, almost lost my legs 3 years ago. The eyes don't work as good as they should but I just keep fighting. I have 3 children, 2 are girls, my oldest daughter became diabetic at 4, any youngest daughter at 10 years. I have seen so many changes over the years, how things have changed from when I was a child. It is a battle everyday wanting to be normal like all the other people. But we just have to keep going! I hope some day there is a cure, not for me but for my daughters and everyone else!

Dan Meharg
Kazabazua, QC, Canada


When I was 15, I got mono. I had it for 7 months straight, and it was a living nightmare. I wasn't able to go to school, go outside, eat... I played video games, watched tv, and slept. If I tried to eat anything, I would get sick. I couldn't even eat a baby frosty from Wendy's. I was living on drinking Ensures pretty much that entire time. I was about 5'3" and I had lost a total of 14lbs. I weighed 88lbs then. After the 7 months, I started feeling a lot better. I was able to start going back to school, attend classes, and be normal. However, since I had been sick for so long, I had started being overly aware of when I was feeling bad. After about 2 months, I started drinking 8 bottles of water a night, urinating a lot, losing more weight, getting a terrible headache and feeling sick whenever I ate food and feeling "out of it" whenever I did some sort of exercise and didn't eat right away. I started immediately researching what was wrong with me, and diabetes popped up in all of my searches. I had all of the symptoms, I was completely convinced I had diabetes, I just wasn't sure what type. I told my family to take my to my pediatrician because I needed to get medication and start treating myself. They blew me off saying I was still crazy from the mono. 13 days after my 16th birthday, I finally got them to take me to my doctor. Before we got there, to be shown how wrong I was going to be, they got me a hot fudge sundae. I bet them $10 I would be diagnosed with diabetes. I told my doctor of my suspicion when I arrived and she did a urinalysis. Type 1 diabetes confirmed. Nemours Hospital pronto. It has been 8 years since that day, and my family doesn't doubt me when I say I feel sick now. I was the one who diagnosed myself. I still haven't gotten my $10 though...

Destin, FL

Ruby - Diagnosed Type 1 a day before her 1st Birthday

Ruby is and has always been a super happy little girl. On 19th June 2009 Lucy (Mother) took Ruby to the gp. 2 weeks before this Ruby had a viral infection and was given antibiotics, once she had finished the antibiotics she started wetting through her nappies at an alarming rate. During the night she was wetting through her nappies and bed linen 3 times a night. Her fluid intake increased so much she was drinking more then both her parents. Having known what her father went through when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes it was obvious to Lucy what was going on. At the gps office it was a hard battle for a blood test let alone getting them to see she was diabetic. At last we got a nurses appointment for a finger prick test. After 3 tests the nurses left the room without saying a word. Moments later a senior nurse came in. 'We dont know what to do' were the first words out of her mouth. Ruby was sent to the hospital with Addenbrookes and Great Ormond Street on standby. Needless to say it was scary. Ruby was still a happy little girl through it all which is why they wouldnt believe she was diabetic. Her sugars were off the charts yet she was still playing and happy. After being a guinea pig with tests, iv lines galore and slipping into a ketoasidosis coma Ruby was eventually realeased from hospital on 4 injections a day. After 6 months of trial and error Ruby was given an insulin pump to help make her blood sugars stable. Its not been smooth sailing since either but Ruby has stayed positive. We have nearly lost her several times over the years from Ketoacidosis. Ruby is a fighter.

Lucy Dunne
King's Lynn, United Kingdom

But I am to old to be a T1D

My son was Dx with T1D when he was 11...all the signs were there. As a mom it was difficult to watch him go through all the training and hear the questions he had as we all trained to be there for him. I was prepared to be the best support I could be...I was 32 when he was diagnosed.

Fast forward to 2010, I was 47 just retired from the Air Force Reserves, and I was proud that I stopped smoking. But I was losing weight, and using the bathroom all the time... I could barley move I was SO trired. I was scared that I had something caused by smoking. When I finally went in for my physical, my Dr said I was very healthy as far as all my test could tell, except my A1C was 16.6 and my fasting BG was 465...I was lucky to be upright. he did a C-Peptide test ( 0.51-2.72 nano-grams per milliliter (ng/mL is normal range) and I came back with a .03. He said I believe you are a T1D and am referring you to an Endo. The first words out of my mouth were...But I am to old to be a T1D...Now I know what my son went through, He handled everything like a champ and inspired me to do the same. I have since diagnosis and with the help of my other son,Run three half marathons, 17 Tough Mudder Obstacle Course events, and multiple 5k, 10k and 15k races.

My next challenge is Toughest Mudder an 8 hour overnight obstacle course run. While I don't win any of the races by the clock, each and every one is a win for me, because I won;t let diabetes get me down, and I won't let my son down.

Tracy Clare
Dayton, OH

Jake's Story

Jake had just turned 2 when I noticed the increase in diaper changes. We had just moved and I hadn't taken him to our new pediatrician yet so when he started vomiting, we went to the ER. We were sent home with a "virus".

A few hours later when his vomit was almost black and constant, we returned to the ER where I pushed the doctor to run some tests. After some back and forth, I was told that it was unfair of me to put my baby thru testing just because I "wanted" something to be wrong with him.

We returned home and I had Jake in the bath. He took the bucket I used to hold his bath toys and filled it under the faucet. He then tipped his head back and gulped the whole thing down.

I called the office for the pediatrician we were planning to use and was told she was out of the office, but we could see her partner.

We went in, Jake was lethargic and after weighing him, had lost 8 pounds. I explained to the doctor what his symptoms were and what had happened at the ER. I told him that I had no idea what was wrong but I knew it wasn't a virus and that this was not my baby boy. I knew nothing about diabetes then but said I remembered from pregnancy excessive thirst and urination could be signs of diabetes

They did a finger poke, the meter just read HIGH

Within 30 minutes, we were at Children's Hospital where his blood glucose came up as 798. He was no longer conscious. Thankfully, they started an insulin drip that prevented any damage.

Jake just turned 13 and is a happy and healthy teenager. He wears a pump and nothing stops him.

I thank God every day that I didn't let them tell me I was crazy. We would have lost him!!

Tracy Stewart
Bellevue, NE

Just Another Soccer Season

It was my senior year of high school and soccer tryouts were just around the corner. I went to the doctors for a normal sports physical. The doctors said they found glucose in my urine and my blood sugar was 157. From there, I went on to my family physician to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I was given a blood glucose monitor and Metformin and went home. None of this made any sense to me, I was a healthy, athletic, extremely fit high school girl. From what I had heard about Type 2 diabetes in the past, I did not fit the bill. About two weeks passed before the truth came out. I became violently ill as my sugars crept up past 400 and was taken to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. The doctors couldn't believe that someone had mistakenly diagnosed me, clearly I had Type 1 diabetes and needed insulin, fast. I was taken by ambulance to a children's hospital because I just made the cut at 17 years old. Through the next 3 days I was taught everything I needed to know. Luckily for me, my best friend was also a Type 1 diabetic so I had an idea of what my life would be like from there on out. And let me tell you, my life is amazing. I tried out for the soccer team that year, made varsity and went on to play in college. Now, almost 6 years later, I'm living life to the fullest and wouldn't change a thing. Life is what you make of it, and I choose to make this one count.

Shannon Inglis
Lake Orion, MI

Jeremiah's diagnosis

My son turned two years old just before his diagnosis September 19,2015. I had been noticing he was drinking liters of water at a time, very frequent utination even threw diapers. He didn't want to eat, cried a lot, wanted to be held/cuddled constantly, just all together was not acting himself.

My mom had mentioned the frequent drinking and urination were signs of diabetes. I did my online research and noticed more and more the symptoms were sounding exactly like my son, so I made a doctors appointment and got seen fairly quickly. The doctor told me he thought my son was fine his assessment to him was normal. I told the doctor I didn't agree and I wanted to verify with a blood test. I explained that I thought he could have diabetes and told him that if the blood test came back fine, ok but I wasn't gonna be comfortable without knowing for sure. He said well I think he's just got a habit of drinking too much but I'll do the test. This was 11am, By 5pm that evening I recieved a phone call from the doctor saying how sorry he was and that I was right. My son was definitely diabetic and that i needed to get him to an ER right away. I called his dad and we went home to meet him. We rushed 45 minutes to Cambridge hospital. We are living in England as we are a military family. Jeremiah was admitted to the A&E at Cambridge university hospital and we were told we had gotten him there just in time as he was starting DKA and we could have potentially lost him had we waited. Jeremiah is now 3 years old we still live in England but will be moving soon to New Mexico USA. As a mother or a parent or a caregiver in general, I urge you to never give up on your instincts. Being persistent in this situation saved my baby boy's life. Watch for signs, google them if you need to, and take action right away.

Albaquerque, NM

Teenage Nightmare

My story of becoming diabetic is similar, yet different to ones I've read before. I was diagnosed very shortly after my 13th birthday. Shortly before my birthday, I was experiencing the symptoms of a diabetic. I was constantly thirsty, I would be going to the bathroom literally every 20-30 minutes (this made sleeping, being in school, and hanging out with friends very difficult.) I would beg my mom to let me stay home after lunch break so I could have a nap, I was also whiter than a ghost and eating more than I should have while still losing weight. This just added to the complications of becoming a teenager and going through puberty.

It was weird though, I was almost... Excited, and scared at the same time because this was something that made me different than anyone else in my school. It made me special. When my parents heard the news, they came to my school, I got called into the office, and my parents where there with a bag of clothes, just in case I had to go to the hospital. I was fortunate that I didn't have to go to the hospital, but I was very close. For the next three days, I was educated on diabetes along with my parents. How to handle it and deal with it, and setting me up with all the devices I would need to manage it.

It was a huge game changer to everyone in my family, and even with my friends. The teachers in my school were informed of my situation due to me missing those 3 days, and were supportive through the rest of my school years. The only thing I wish they wouldn't have done, was treat me differently and question whether I was able to have a piece of candy, or some food that was brought to class.

Benjamin Groen
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Fighting 4 Maddox

Maddox Guice T1D diagnosis story: In October of 2015 a friend of mine had noticed Maddox had went to the restroom at least 6/7 times in 10 minutes, I didn't think anything of it because Maddox drinks a lot of fluids. Over the next week Maddox went to Urgent Care they said it was viral, two days later he was still out of school so I asked my mother if she could take him and have them re check Maddox that a friend said it was a sign of diabetes. On October 29, 2015 Maddox A1C was 10 and his BG was 400. My Mom called me and put the Doctor on the phone and I was told He was Type 1 Diabetic. The Doctor stated the machine only read to 400 she referred Maddox To Scottish Rite Hospital. My friend and I immediately surrounded Maddox with family and prayers and off we went to Atlanta, the ER immediately put him in a room his BG read 700 which was high as the machine read in their ER. They admitted Maddox and by 2:30 am we found out his true reading was 1,000 they told us he shouldn't have been able to walk and should be in a coma. We started praying along with family as his BG came down. Looking back now his symptoms were frequent urination, mood changes, bed wetting, stomach and headaches. This could have been tragic at this point had he not been re checked! Our Scripture is 2 Kings 20:5 & Our Faith in God is Strong! Please have your child tested for any of these symptoms. We are Blessed that this was caught the VERY DAY that it was, a BG over 1,000 & still conscious is a Miracle from God!

Amy Guice

Amy Guice
Rockmart, GA

Ramblings of a Young Diabetic

Sometimes, if I’m really hungry but not sure what I want to eat, I take a shot and raid the pantry.

A low blood sugar has been used as an excuse to buy snacks.

My favorite middle-of-the-night-low-blood-sugar remedy is a bowl of Fruit Loops.

Most regular (non-diet) sodas taste like poison.

Having to do math every day is a pain in the butt: 1 unit of insulin for every 10 carbohydrates; subtract 100 from the high blood sugar and divide by 30.

“High BS Level” is a double entendre, especially if I’m being particularly crabby.

My relationship with food feels like a secret love affair.

I dream about food sometimes. Willy Wonka dreams.

My dad, also a diabetic, and I used to eat butter-sugar sandwiches.

One time in elementary school I told a kid that my pump was a pager.

I dated my first boyfriend for a month before I told him I had diabetes.

The “Shots” song has a totally different meaning for me.

Speaking of shots, low blood sugars feel like I’m drunk, and high blood sugars feel like I’m incredibly hungover.

When I meet or hear of other people being diabetic, I get excited to know of another member in our special club.

Two of my good friends are nurses, and I used to let them check my blood sugar and give me shots when we were little.

My husband is a saint for putting up with a crazy diabetic wife.

My life really does feel like a roller coaster of highs and lows and in-betweens.

When I’m watching shows like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, I often think if I was in this situation, I’d never make it. And it’s a strange feeling, but it also reminds of how lucky I am to be here.

Ashleigh Painter
Deer Park, TX
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