JDRF One Walk Spotlight – Emma’s Swarm

Monday, August 20, 2018 was back-to-school physical day. Joe and I took the day off so we could spend it with the kids, go to Hiro for lunch and take them to get rolled ice-cream before their appointments. When we got to the appointment, Emma had to go to the bathroom so our PA took her and explained how to give a urine sample. We weren’t in the room 10 minutes and they told us her sugar level in her urine was over 500. We didn’t know what that meant and when they told us it should be zero, we knew something was wrong. Our PA was on the phone with Children’s Endocrinology and they requested a finger poke to check her blood sugar. Her blood sugar was so high that it wouldn’t read on the meter at our clinic and we were told to get to Children’s ER immediately. All of us crying and in shock, Emma and I headed to Omaha while Joe and Joey went home to get clothes, etc. Her blood sugar was 603 when Children’s checked it and Emma was admitted immediately and had an IV put in.

Emma was in the hospital for 4 days working to get her blood sugar in normal range and get her ketones to negative. Joe, Emma, and I had intense diabetes education while we were there. It was completely overwhelming but so helpful! Lots of emotions went through all of us those few days and the days, weeks, and months afterwards. We knew what type 1 diabetes was since Joe’s mom has it but didn’t fully understand the disease. Our life is now all about carb counting, blood sugars, insulin, ketones, and type 1. Things changed again on October 20, 2018, when an intestinal biopsy confirmed Emma also had Celiac Disease. I think all of us agree that type 1 is less stressful than eating gluten free!

Emma had been signed up to play soccer with her team, Swarm, last fall, but we decided not to play since she was newly diagnosed. Her team had a shirt and sign made with “Emma’s Swarm” on it and everyone signed it. The way her teammates, classmates, friends, and our family has “swarmed” around us has been unbelievable!! It only makes sense that “Emma’s Swarm” be our team name for the JDRF walk in August.

Fast forward to today…Emma is using the Dexcom G6 to monitor her blood sugars and Joe and I can monitor as well via an app on our phones. She started this a couple of months after her diagnosis and it is AMAZING, eliminating the finger pokes she would have to do 9 plus times a day. In January she got the Omnipod insulin pump. Another AMAZING change for her diabetes care…no more shots before meals, bed, or extra shots when she is high! Emma has matured so much with this disease and is not scared to change the Dexcom or Omnipod…she’s come a LONG way since the end of August and her fear of needles!

Without JDRF working to find advancements in treating type 1 diabetes we wouldn’t have the Dexcom G6 or Omnipod to help Emma manage her type 1 diabetes. Nationally, JDRF is at the forefront of research for this awful disease! The Omaha-Council Bluffs JDRF chapter has been a wonderful resource for our family as well. Their staff understands what we are going through because some of them have children with type 1. And they help us connect with resources and other families in our area. I can’t say enough great things about the staff that we have personally connected with there!

Joe and I continue to educate people on type 1 diabetes on social media, we are encouraging people to donate to JDRF, and we hope they will join Emma’s Swarm (and all the other teams) as we Walk to fight for a cure for type 1 diabetes on Saturday, August 24th. Our team page is http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/emma.”

— Sheri, Joe, Emma & Joey

JDRF One Walk – Saturday, August 24th at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha!