When asked what it is like to have type 1 diabetes (T1D), 11-year-old Madison emphatically said, “For everybody who has diabetes, if you can manage through it, then you are perfect, and you can do everything any other kid can do.”
Madison was diagnosed with T1D when she was 10 years old on October 15, 2014. Before her diagnosis, she started having to use the bathroom frequently, in addition to experiencing excessive thirst. These symptoms lasted for about two weeks before her family decided it was time to take her to the pediatrician.
“We thought she had a bladder infection,” said Madison’s mom, Lisa. “We were very caught off guard. Nobody in our family had diabetes, so for us, it wasn’t even an option.”
Madison was immediately admitted to Beaumont Hospital. She spent three nights and four days after test results revealed sugar in her urine and an extremely high blood sugar level of 750 mg/dL.
Madison recalled, “It wasn’t fun, and I was scared.”
“It was overwhelming for me,” Lisa added. “We got involved with JDRF almost immediately. They soon became a great resource for us on how to best manage this disease.”
Since Madison’s diagnosis the family has taken steps to keep healthier food in the house, in addition to expanding their type 1 knowledge. As a result, Madison went to a sleep away camp this summer and is able to maintain her active lifestyle as a competitive dancer, swimmer and soccer player. Despite having to check her blood sugar 8-12 times each day, Madison does not let type 1 define her.
“We kind of just work our way through it because I’m stronger than it,” said Madison, who also served as a youth ambassador for JDRF.
“As a mother, it is incredible to watch your child show so much strength when handling a disease that never stops and never makes sense,” Lisa said. “Those new to T1D should know that you can survive this. You will be stronger. You will be better.”
“It IS going to be curable,” Madison added.
“I’m blown away everyday by Madison. She is my hero,” said Lisa. This year, the Butlers are participating with Team Hot Shots in their first JDRF One Walk and are expecting more than 100 people on the Team. Each year, more than 900,000 people walk to cure T1D at more than 200 JDRF locations worldwide in the JDRF One Walk. Support helps fund life-changing T1D research – research that is leading to better treatments, prevention and, one day, a world where Type One has become Type None.