Kathy Ferrier was not new to type one diabetes (T1D) when her daughter Katelyn was diagnosed at age 9 the fall of 2013, though T1D does not run in her family. Just six years earlier her son Gavin was diagnosed at age 7.
Thinking back, Kathy said, “This can’t be happening. Maybe they’re wrong. How will I cope with two children who have type one?”
When Gavin found out, his response: “At least it’s nice to have a buddy.”
Gavin’s diagnosis had been startling when doctors reported a glucose test exceeding 565 mg/dL, resulting in emergency care. Katelyn’s diagnosis resulted from a TrialNet study and a failed glucose tolerance test, her sugar level elevated to 240 mg/dL.
To see more about Gavin’s experience with T1D, watch his story on WDIV from 2013 here.
Also unlike Gavin, Katelyn didn’t show any of the common symptoms: frequent urination or excessive thirst. In fact, Katelyn’s sugar levels remained pretty stable until January 2015, whereas Gavin’s sugar levels continue to remain highly unstable.
Gavin, now 13, has been on a pump for the past 5 years and has used a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) for the past 2 years, and Kathy is working to get Katelyn, now 11, the same equipment, but it has not been easy.
Kathy has had to be persistent to get insurance approval for a pump and glucose monitor for Katelyn, even being required to take a 12 hour foundational course, despite already working with Gavin and his equipment, as well as educating others about its use.
The struggle to obtain a CGM for Katelyn came because her sugar level fluctuations had not been severe enough, due to Kathy’s previous knowledge for diabetes maintenance and care, to meet insurance criteria. Recently though, Katelyn was finally approved as a result of Kathy’s diligence. Katelyn currently receives 4-5 injections per day to help manage her diabetes.
Gavin and Katelyn remain in high spirits about living with T1D. They compete for who has better numbers whenever they check their glucose levels. And their dedication to helping JDRF turn Type One into Type None through JDRF One Walk as part of the 25-30 people who will walk as team “Gavin’s Go Getters” remains strong.
Gavin’s Go Getters will join more than 2,500 T1D advocates at Hudson Mills Metropark near Ann Arbor on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 to help the JDRF Metro Detroit/Southeast Michigan Chapter raise more than $1 million to help fund critically needed T1D research.
JDRF One Walk is expected to draw an enthusiastic crowd of all ages, driven to support a great cause while enjoying an event that features food, fun, entertainment, children’s activities and special attractions. On-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the Walk begins at 9:30 a.m., rain or shine. The entire JDRF One Walk will be an approximately 5k long stroll.