November 7, 2014

Diabetes Awareness

Jennifer weber knew early on that something wasn’t right with her son.

“He was growing like any ordinary boy, and then I noticed he had an insatiable thirst, could not quench his thirst, and then he started losing weight, for every sign and symptom I had an excuse,” said Jennifer Weber, Zack’s mother. “He went to his best friends house to play and after picking him up, the mother had said, ‘have you ever had him tested for diabetes?’”

A trip to Edward proved just that. Zack was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, forever changing his life. Now Zack is paired with an insulin pump that delivers insulin to his blood stream. This has caused dramatic changes not just at home but at school as well.

“I have a little station in the classroom and I just go over there and I just poke my finger. Then I put the blood into the strip and then the meter shows me my number,” said Zack Weber.

Type One affects just five percent of those diagnosed with the disease, and typically hits at a young age.

“Type One usually are born with a defect, it acts a little more like an auto-immune illness and they’re born with a defect in their pancreas, it’s more of a matter of time before the body decides or the pancreas decides, it isn’t going to produce any more insulin,” said Certified Diabetes Educator, Celia Morelos.

That’s different from Type Two, which is brought on when someone is overweight and cannot produce enough insulin to support the glucose levels in the body.
Jennifer feels that differentiating the two is important to help others better understand her son’s struggles.

“I would love to see a change in the name all together. Diabetes gets put under the umbrella and a lot of people think, oh did he eat too much sugar, will there be a cure, will he outgrow it, it’s the miscommunication between type one and type two. There is no cure, he will not outgrow it, until there is a cure he will live with diabetes type one,” said Zack’s mother, Jennifer Weber.

Though managing his diet and exercising will always be a part of his daily routine, at heart, Zack believes one thing.

“I’m just a regular kid having fun like anyone else,” said Zack.

He’s been able to go to camp, but Zack’s camp is a little different. The American Diabetes Association holds events that helps kids understand they can still have fun with this diagnoses.

“I’ve ben able to go to diabetes camp and diabetes overnight camp, which is a lot more fun, because it’s overnight. I’ve also gotten to learn how to snowboard because of “Riding on Insulin,” it’s a snowboarding camp for people with diabetes,” said Zack.

Jennifer is optimistic that Zack will continue to thrive with this disease.

“I’m hoping for bigger and better things each and every year. I think we’re getting closer to a cure and I feel very positive and optimistic that he will lead a very happy, healthy and normal life,” said Jennifer Weber.


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