“At the time, everyone was so nonchalant about it, the prospect of diabetes seemed like no big deal,” said Tina Campbell about their long journey to get a type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosis for her son Henrik.
Tina’s son was always a laid-back kid, until he started kindergarten in 2013. Almost immediately, they noticed some out-of-character behavioral changes. They thought it may be an issue with transitioning to a new environment.
Henrik began seeing a mental health specialist, was diagnosed with various psychological challenges and began taking medication over the course of several months. In January of that year, he was enrolled in an emotional impairment class.
It was in this class that his teacher, who had several connections to individuals with T1D, suggested Henrik may be diabetic, despite the fact he wasn’t showing the classic symptoms of intense thirst or frequent urination and no other family members had T1D. Tina mentioned it to Henrik’s pediatrician and, when a blood test returned with only a slight sugar elevation, the pediatrician seemed unconcerned.
Henrik’s teacher continued to insist Tina push the issue with her son’s doctor, and she asked him to check Henrik again at his March well-visit. Results came back showing a 300 mg/dL sugar level, the results were again brushed off and follow up appointments made without urgency. When Tina updated Henrik’s teacher, she spelled out a life and death scenario for Tina. At his next appointment, Henrik was officially diagnosed with T1D.
“It was an immediate change in Henrik’s behavior when he started on insulin,” Tina said. “It was like waking up from a very long nightmare. It was a relief to have a diagnosis and to have our Henrik back. We are so grateful to Henrik’s teacher for persisting when no one else had given us any indication to know better.”
This year marks the fourth JDRF One Walk Tina, Henrik, their family and friends have participated in. Henrik also has earned V1P status in past walks!
“We participate in One Walk mainly because we want to show Henrik our support and to show him there are others like him,” said Tina, “But we also participate because I want a cure, and I’m going to keep going as long as it takes.”