Evie's Story, Part 2: child owns her Type-1 Diabetes - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Evie's Story, Part 2: child owns her Type-1 Diabetes

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Last week, we introduced you to Chris and Amanda Young, who shared their story about their daughter Evie and how she was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes after slipping into diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. Looking back on it, they realized that symptoms that could easily be mistaken for grow spurts were actually telltale signs.

With Type 1, the formula of how Evie eats is completely different because they are basically becoming her pancreas. Amanda said after Evie was released from the hospital, she made the mistake of clearing the house of all sugar. "We've found out is that actually with Type 1, is that she needs sugar," they said.  "It's funny to even think that a juice box saves my girl's life, but it does," Amanda noted.

"You have to be aware of what she's eating and taking in. And knowing the importance of certain foods, and sugar is something that can save her life, as well. It's all balance and having to figure that out," said Chris.

And speaking of figuring it out, Amanda took the initiative to stay with Evie the first year after she was diagnosed and help situate Evie and prepare the school. She said, "Just to see how the dynamic was day-to-day - we paid attention on how she checked herself, and generated a flowchart, on top of taking care of her."

It's a process that Evie, now 8, has taken all in stride. Since her diagnosis at age 6, Evie has been able to inject herself with an insulin pen, which can range from 6-8 times a day. "If she wants snacks and it has carbs or we're at a party where she is grazing, we have to keep an eye on that, gauging her doses for insulin, if it's a little higher. There's a science to being her pancreas," they said.

Through it all, Evie has owned her disease, with Chris saying, "She has her bad days, the difference with her is that she is not allowed to have her bad days overcome her because it could mean her life. Working with the emotional trauma, the bruising and the pain, she gets proud of it sometimes, too!"

Since airing their story, the Youngs have been humbled by such an amazing response from the community and from those abroad. "Within sharing our story, there have been a lot of people who want to respond to it and be a part of getting it out there, so that way other families don't have to go through such an overwhelming process. It's scary," they said.

Part of getting it out there, is forming a non-profit organization that aims to educate not just the school system but childcare providers and even medical professionals because there are simple signs that sometimes are overlooked. "A big part of starting an organization for Type-1 Diabetes because this is what we've found here on Guam - there is a lot of support for Type-2. And the Type-2 and Diabetes Association has been really great with our daughter. And I'm happy to do that for them and with them," she said.

Amanda says the smallest part of creating awareness is just getting people to know the signs and symptoms. From those on the frontlines like teachers, noticing a child frequently needing the restroom to excessive thirst. "The biggest thing is awareness - it's just being aware and if sharing our story makes people aware no matter how vulnerable it makes us look, it's important, it's important," they said.

To find out more about Type-1 Diabetes, you can head over to testonedrop.org or jdrf.org.

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