“If we want to live a life of love of God, we must not fail in our love towards our neighbor.” –St. Therese of Lisieux
I’m convinced that when people give out of love, great things happen. When lots of people give out of love, lives are changed. I have an opportunity to share with you, to give a little to make a huge difference and change a little boy’s life.
Years ago, in an online mothering message board, I “met” my friend Jen. We’ve been through a few pregnancies together, and when I moved to California, she was also moving to a city about an hour away. We made a point to meet in person a few times, introducing our kids who were similarly aged, and enjoying time together. Since I moved to Colorado, we’ve kept in touch here and there via Facebook, and I was stunned to learn last year that her oldest son Cameron was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Jen is a woman with strength and courage beyond words, and such love for her boys that she will move mountains to make life better for them.
I want to help her move mountains to help Cameron. To best tell their story, here are Cameron’s own words, with a note from Jen at the end.
My name is Cameron and I am eight years old. I like to play Legos and read Star Wars books. I love swimming, cooking and traveling, I’ve even been to New York. I like to talk to adults because they always have interesting things to say. I also like to text my mom when she’s at work or school, even though I’m not supposed to.
I have Juvenile Diabetes (Type 1). My kind of diabetes is when a part of my body called the pancreas stopped working. Its supposed to make insulin which helps me turn food into energy. When it stopped working, I had to take shots for everything I eat. I can get high blood sugar and have to go to the hospital for an IV if it gets too high. I can get low blood sugar too and the scariest thing I’ve had happen is when I dropped down to a blood sugar of 40. It felt like someone had just shot me with a sleep dart. Sometimes I feel like I am going to die. I’m starving when I get low. There is no cure for Juvenile Diabetes.
This is my diabetes life every day. When I wake up, I check my blood sugar, eat (breakfast), give two shots, play, check my blood sugar, eat (lunch), give a shot, play, check blood sugar, eat (supper), give a shot, check blood sugar, give another shot, go to sleep. When I give my shots, I give them in my stomach and they sting really bad. When I check my blood sugar, I have to poke my finger with a little needle and put blood on a test strip on a machine. Before I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, I felt like a zombie because I was always tired and confused. I was really skinny too, but I was hungry all the time. I feel much better now, even though I hate the shots.
The worst thing about diabetes is that I have to give shots.
I can’t just be free on what I eat because I have to give a shot for it. I can’t just run around and do whatever I want because I might get a low blood sugar. Also, when I get older, I have to have my blood sugar under 200 in order to drive. There are some good things about diabetes, the best is that I get to go to a camp for only diabetic children in the summer.
A diabetic alert dog would help me know when my blood sugar is low or high. A dog can tell when I’m low and sometimes I can’t even tell I’m low. A dog will bring a meter for me to check my blood sugar and even bring me a snack. My dog will let me go somewhere without always having to have my mom with me to keep me safe. At night, my dog would sleep with me and wake me or my mom up if my blood sugar gets too low. A dog would also be a good friend and help when I’m lonely. I would like to name the dog Spark and I hope it is a yellow lab.
Cameron is my champion and my warrior. He is the oldest of my three sons and was diagnosed last year, October 2013. While I’m usually a pretty tough and strong person, when I saw a video about what a diabetic alert dog could do, I started crying. Over the last year, I have had many sleepless nights wondering how his body will react to the insulin, whether it was the right amount, or whether it was too much. Having another set of eyes besides mine, overnight, would be so amazing and freeing. Cameron’s grandparents travel with him frequently and after I’m out of school, will be watching him overnight two days a week. A dog would be such a huge help to them with the overnight care, as well as the traveling. Being homeschooled, Cameron is not in a regular school, but as he gets older, there will be extracurricular classes and sleepovers that he will want to go to that I cannot leave him at without a responsible adult. A dog would fill the gap and give him some freedom as he heads into his teen years.
I have seen the power of sharing on the internet. I have faith and hope that we can all do a little to make a lasting, huge difference for Cameron. Please pray for him, donate what you can, and spread the word. You can give through GoFundMe.
Thank you, friends.