adidas america A day in the life of a child living with juvenile diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 5 percent of people who have diabetes have Type 1, also known as juvenile diabetes, which requires insulin to survive.
Now, Austin has spent his life learning how to count carbs, take his blood sugar and give himself insulin shots. and lunchtime with friends. But Austin has another element he faces every day that most kids don’t have to deal with.
“For shots, about five or six, and checking [blood sugar] about four or five [times every day],” he explains.
His best friend, Jeremiah Moore, has been by his side since kindergarten and has seen Austin battle diabetes first hand.
“Sometimes it looks sad but he says he’s fine,” says Jeremiah.
“What makes him an extraordinary kid is the fact that he does all the things fourth grade boys do and deals with this as well,” says Park City Math Interventionist, Starla Buckley.
Being able to self administer the insulin shots is something Austin takes pride in.
“It kind of scared me a little bit because I was like, ‘This kid is in third grade’ I started taking care of him when he was in third grade, so he’s in third grade, he handling a needle, but he does it so well that I don’t even question it now,” says school nurse, Amanda Hendrick.
Nurse Amanda still does the math for him, but soon enough, Austin will be able to do that part, too.
Even with the systems in place to check Austin’s blood sugar several times each day, he still experiences swings of it getting too high or too low.
“When he comes to you and tells you that he hates the disease, it’s kind of hard. It is hard,” says Holly, tearing up.
But Austin doesn’t let it stop him from doing what he wants to do, and he wants to make sure other kids with diabetes don’t let it control their lives.
“Don’t think about it. If I can do it you can do it. It ain’t that bad and it’s kind of fun because you get to miss school for doctors visits,” he says.
Austin goes to Louisville, Kentucky every three months for check ups. His parents say there is a possibility of someday switching him over to an insulin pump, but right now, they’re still just talking about it.