Day in the Life...

Laken's Story:

Laken is 10 years old and was diagnosed at the age of 7 with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes has not stopped her from what she loves to do most which is Gymnastics. At her very first competition ever she placed first in Vault, Floor, Beam and overall along with Third place in bars. With her high scores she is now eligible to compete at States in April 2017.

Her dad would do anything to help where he can to find a cure for Diabetes and is also Laken's support system through it and has helped her to start following her dream by enrolling and being the sole support for her Gymnastics. Sacrificing his sleepless hours after long hours of work to get her there so that she will always feel even through Diabetes you can accomplish anything.

He's her #1 fan!

When Laken was diagnosed it kind of made everyone put their feelings aside and work through getting her better and understanding and making the changes she would need to do for her Diabetes. Laken never cried about it or has ever asked why me? She shed a tear or two only when she saw everyone upset about her having to be taken to children's hospital after finding out. Because of that, seems like all the adults were learning how to be stronger just like her.

Laken is a 4th grade elementary student. She has a dog named Maggie, her favorite color is blue. Enjoys preparing meals for her dad when she is with him. In her spare time you can find her practicing gymnastics every chance she gets and watching her favorite gymnast Simone Biles or you tube videos on techniques to improve her form and style. She also enjoys going to Penn State games with her dad and sister.

Nothing including Diabetes will slow her down or stand in her way to accomplish her number one goal of making the Olympics someday.

Laken is competing in her very first Gymnastics States Competition on April 22-23, 2017. She's excited and looking forward to it.

Janet’s Story:

My name is Janet. I am now 17 years old. When I was diagnosed, I was 12 years old. So, for my story about my diagnosis, during the year of 2012, I was in 7th grade at the time. I was a little overweight so I decided to lose some weight. It was working out very nicely for me and I felt great too. Then soon I couldn't stop losing the weight which caused me to look a lot different to a lot of people. Mostly ever morning I would drink a glass of milk, a Powerade, and 2 glasses of water, but I was still thirsty. Soon people were wondering if I was anorexic and my mom decided to confront me about it. I told her I wasn't trying to lose the weight anymore, so I went to the doctors on January 30th, 2012. My doctor told me I had to go to the hospital because I had Juvenile diabetes. This was a very big shock to me and my family. My parents took me to the hospital where I got treated with insulin for the first time. It was the most comforting feeling after because then I didn't feel sick anymore and I started to feel better.

Some of the bad incidents I had with diabetes was when I was at work and I had given myself a dose of insulin to correct for food I ate. I then decided to sit down in a dressing room because I was tired. I soon woke up in the office of my manger with my mother and brother there trying to get me to eat something. I had no clue what was going on and it was one of the scariest moments for me so far.

One of the best things that has come with my diagnosis was when I learned about diabetes camp. I wasn't too sure about it at first but when I finally got the chance to go I loved it. I was truly grateful for all of the amazing people I met at camp who truly became my family in a weeks’ time. They truly blessed my life and made me realize it's okay who I am and that I can live with this disease. They comforted me and didn't make me feel like an "outsider". I am so thankful for all of my friends I met because I know these friendships will last a lifetime.

A Mother's Struggle:

During the summer of 2012, circumstances changed and I needed to look for daycare for my son for after school care and during the summer months.

I placed numerous phone calls to local daycare in the Altoona area to be told by each one that they would not be able to take my son because he is a diabetic and they did not have anyone to care for him.

I was literally at the last straw when someone told me to call and speak to Lily Pond. I spoke to the receptionist who put me in touch with their daycare coordinator. She listened to my plight and told me she would at least see if there was anything she would be able to help me with. A few days went by and I heard from their legal representative who wanted to talk to me about my request to have daycare options for my diabetic son.

I spoke at length with the legal representative, explained that I felt my son was being discriminated against because he had an incurable disease. I said I couldn’t understand why it would be any different from the children they take care of currently, which included peanut allergies, use of epi pens and breathing treatments for asthmatics.

I was told that they would speak with their personnel, speak with their attorney and get back to me. Within about two weeks, I was notified they had decided that they would educate their staff and be able to take care of Ethan; and for any future children who are in the same situation that we were.

Sam’s Story:

When I got diagnosed with diabetes I was 8 years old. I had symptoms for a couple of months before my mom finally took me to the doctor. There were a few events that led up to my mom taking me. First was I was eating more than the normal 8- year old, more than my dad, and losing weight. I lost about 20 pounds and looked almost anorexic. I was pale as a ghost and felt sick a lot. My gymnastics coach told me I couldn't practice anymore until they found out what was wrong. A second event that led to my mom finally bringing me to the dr was when me and my dad went food shopping I ALWAYS had to go to the bathroom. While at the bathroom I would then get a drink. (I like to joke I drank the water fountain dry each time I would get a drink because I drank so much). Then I would find my dad and stay with him for about 5 more minutes before I had to go to the bathroom again. While there I would get a drink. This happened about 5-6 during the 1-1 1/2 I was food shopping with my dad. A third event was each night I would wake up around 2-3 times a night getting a drink and going to the bathroom. My parents did not know this until one night I didn't wake up but instead I wet the bed. They were very concerned about that because I was 8 years old. My mom finally took me to the doctor and my blood glucose was 599 mg/dL.

I am 16 now and I have been living with diabetes for 8 years. I have come accustom to checking my blood every time before I eat and when I don't feel well. I'd say my worst moment with T1D is last year a camp when my blood went to 24 mg/dL. I'm not exactly sure what happened when I was low because I blanked out, but I do remember when I woke up I realized I had peed myself! One of the best moments of T1D is being able to go to camp each year and make new friends who are all like me (and understand what I'm talking about when I say something about diabetes). Yes, diabetes does suck, but since I'm stuck with it (until they find a cure) I can learn to live with it the best way possible.