6 p.m., June 20)
Local youngster living with Type-1 Diabetes, truly an inspiration
By Fred Sherwin
weekend, a group of family and friends took part in the
Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes near Dow's Lake to show their
support for 10-year-old Connor Ouellette who was diagnosed
with Type-1 (Juvenile) Diabetes seven years ago.
Ouellette shows off his Dexcom unit which
can test his blood sugar level up to 288 times
a day. Photo provided
most young people in their situation, Connor's diagnosis
came as a complete surprise to his parents Guy and Krista.
was scary because we didn't know anything about it. It
doesn't run in either of our families. Connor is the first
one to have it," says Krista.
started showing symptoms within days after he got sick
took him to see our doctor because he had been acting
different and kept asking for water, so she did a quick
urine test and it was full of sugar and then she told
me to get a blood test done because he might have diabetes.
So then I took him straight to urgent care and they pricked
his finger and a number didn't even come up it just said
'high' and so I took him straight to CHEO," recalls
the staff at CHEO confirmed Connor had Type-1 Diabetes,
his parents took a crash course on a disease which 24
hours earlier they didn't know anything about.
Diabetes is an autoimune disease in which the body's immune
system misguidingly destroys insulin-producing beta cells
in the pancreas rather than the cells contaminated by
the initial virus, or in Connor's case, an ear infection.
Diabetes is unlike Type-2 Diabetes in that it can not
be prevented. Type-2 Diabetes can be prevented by eating
properly, exercising regularly and living a healthy lifestyle.
diabetics are also totally dependent on insulin injections
because their bodies can no longer produce it, while Type-2
diabetics can still produce insulin but at varying levels.
they can find a cure for Type-1 diabetes, those people
who have the disease must learn to live with it the rest
of their lives.
Ouellette clan takes part in last weekend's
Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes. Team Connor raised
over $7,000 in the lead up to the event in
support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research
Foundation. Photo provided
blood sugar levels are tested up to 20 times a day, either
by himself, his parents, his educational assistant, his
teacher, or his daycare providers. He then must sometimes
take a snack to keep his blood sugar levels in check.
The type and the amount of the snack depends on his level.
He also needs to take two insulin shots a day and he must
go through this regime every day of his life.
hates it, he really does, but he's learned to live with
it. In a way it was a good thing that he contracted it
at such a young age because he doesn't remember living
any other way," says Guy. "We've been so lucky
because Connor is the type of kid who can just roll with
it. When he was six he said he was glad he had diabetes
and not his brother or his sisters. That's the type of
kid he is."
having Type-1 Diabetes, Connor is as active as any other
youngster his age. He plays hockey and he takes karate
lessons at his father's dojo. The only difference is that
his blood sugar levels must be tested before, during and
after every activity.
blood sugar levels can result in a loss of consciousness,
or in the worse case scenario an individual can go into
shock and risk brain damage or possibly even death. High
blood sugar levels can lead to hyperglycemia which can
lead to nerve damage, and even kidney failure.
Junior Diabetes Research Foundation, or JDRF, is leading
the way in developing treatments for Type-1 Diabetes and
they have launched a number of clinical trials aimed at
reproducing the beta cells that produce insulin in the
body. Further research will hopefully lead to a cure for
the disease in the not too distant future, which brings
us back to the Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes.
70 people joined Team Connor for the walk this year, which
raised over $7,000. Hundreds more took part in the event,
and collectively raised over $138,000. The money will
be used to help fund continued research so that a cure
for Type-1 Diabetes will eventually be found and no more
children, or anyone else for that matter, will have to
live with this terrible disease in the future.
and symptoms of Type-1 Diabetes can include the following:
- Unusual thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight change (gain or loss)
- Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
- Blurred vision
- Frequent or recurring infections
- Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Trouble getting or maintaining an erection
you have any of these symptoms, it is important to contact
your health-care provider right away. For more information
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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