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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Let's help Jonah get a diabetic alert dog

This my friends, is Jonah.  Jonah is 7-years old now and is living with Type One diabetes.  It sucks, and it's scary-dangerous.  Scary.  Dangerous.  And if you're anything like me, you probably don't know much about Type One diabetes.  You might think (like I did) that all you need to do is watch what you eat, test your blood sugar twice a day, exercise regularly, and your blood sugar will magically remain under control.  You may have no idea (like I had no idea) that this is only the best-case scenario.

Just a quick google for Type One (previously known as Juvenile Diabetes) pulled up an overwhelming amount of information that parents have to know.  For example, the American Diabetes Association website listed all of this information under 'Everyday', and this information under 'Safe at School', and this information under 'Managing Diabetes' (And did you see the sidebar where another mother discusses the fact that her child's school will not allow another staff member to provide basic care to her Type One diabetic child when the nurse if not on staff?!  I believe Amber's situation with Jonah at school is similar, but don't quote me.) 

Amber has to wake up several times a night, every single night, to test Jonah's blood sugar.  It regularly spikes to sky-high levels for absolutely no reason that they can think of.  They're doing everything they're supposed to be doing.  See this photo above?.. It represents three days of testing.  Only three days.

These black spots here?..they aren't dirty.  These spots on Jonah's fingers are from every single time that Amber has had to poke him to test his blood sugar in the last year of so.  It hurts every time.  These little fingers are only so big. 

Jonah needs a diabetic alert dog.  The dog would go everywhere he goes, including school.  According to the National Institute for Diabetic Alert Dogs website, the dogs are trained to smell the ketones that are produced by the body when blood sugar is too high or too low, and to alert the diabetic individual of the high/low.  This means that Amber can sleep more confidently, and be more confident that Jonah's sugar will be better managed at school.  In a recent conversation with Amber, she had this to say about the stress and emotional turmoil she and other families with diabetic children face:

"It's extremely difficult and I feel like it is a delicate balancing act. If you dose too much basically you could put your child into seizure or worse death, if you don't dose quite enough they run the risk of ketoacidosis and ultimately death... Or long term complications like heart disease, eyesight loss, amputation, dialysis... It's really A LOT to take in and such a huge responsibility especially when you are looking at the innocence of your child's face. My son has no clue about diabetes other than his pancreas doesn't work. The worst part is no down time. I can't even rest while he sleeps. The majority of people that die from this disease either die in their sleep or from ketoacidosis. I don't know if I will ever sleep again. Glad I slept a lot in my 20s. Lol"

So here's where we come in.  There is a fundrazr page established to help raise the money to defray the cost of a Diabetic Alert Dog for Jonah.  I'm going to up the stakes a little bit.  For the next 2 weeks, ever $5 you donate will get you a coupon for a free pattern from my Ravelry pattern store Any and every individual pattern in my store is eligible (e-books are not eligible).  Donate $10, get two free patterns; $15 dollars, get three patterns.  I think you get the idea here.  Simply email me from the link on contribution page and I'll send you the coupon code(s).  I know that it's not much but every single little bit helps and I think this is a great cause.  Help Jonah out, and I'll help your pattern collection out ;)

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