My name is Kellen and I was just 7 weeks old when my life and the lives of my family would change forever. Mommy (Angie) had just started going back to work part-time, Daddy (Phil) was still adjusting to having 2 little boys in the house, Big Brother (Kade) wanted to hold me all the time, and I had just visited my daycare for the 1st time. I woke up on a Friday and didn’t feel really good – I don’t remember it, of course, but Mom says I just had a runny nose and looked a little pale. As the day went on I just slept a lot and didn’t want to eat. By that afternoon I was having trouble breathing and Mommy and Daddy knew it was more than just a cold. When they took me in the Emergency Room I was very sick – I needed oxygen and a machine to help me breath (BiPap) and I had lots of pokes as the nurses were trying unsuccessfully to get an IV because I was so dehydrated. One nurse checked my blood sugar and the machine read “HIGH”. My mom and dad knew right then what was going on – I had Type 1 Diabetes. My dad also has Type 1 Diabetes and my mom is a nurse so they knew all about this disease. My blood sugar was over 900 and I had to spend 3 days in the ICU and another 4 days in the hospital before I got to go home. I got my insulin pump while I was still in the ICU because I my insulin dose was so small they couldn’t use a syringe. Luckily it was the same as my dad’s except mine is blue (woo hoo!) so Mom and Dad already knew how it worked. I remember the day my Crate Full of Courage came to my ICU room. Mom and Dad had left for a few minutes and when they came back it was there as a surprise. Mommy started crying (of course!) and Daddy put the teddy bear in my crib – it was bigger than I was!!
Now I’m almost 4 years old and am getting bigger and stronger! Every day I have my blood sugar checked 8-10 times. I can even do it all by myself! I never cry when I have to have my finger poked – I don’t like it when other people make a big deal of it either. I love to hold the meter while it works on reading my blood sugar and I’ve learned all my numbers by saying my sugar out loud (those 6s and 9s were really confusing for a while!!) I admit I get kind of excited when the meter shows 2 numbers because I know that means I get a snack!! My mom calls “Pumpie” my 3rd arm because I don’t like to be without it and I’m very protective of it. We change my pump site every 2-3 days. It’s not always my favorite thing to do, but I get to pick where it goes so that usually makes me happy. I even know the carb counts of some of my favorite foods. Mom and Dad hope I’ll get a math scholarship one day. I also have a Diabetic Alert Dog, Shadow, who is my best friend and goes lots of places with me. He keeps me safe by lettin my parents know when my blood sugar is out of range – his nose is amazing!!
Even though I have Type 1 Diabetes and some other health problems I am just like other kids. I love to play sports – soccer, baseball, and football are just a few of my favorites. I like to run and play with my friends – I am super good at tag! I never let diabetes slow me down. My mommy and daddy say I’m the bravest boy they’ve ever met. That’s because I am full of COURAGE!!