With the support of his alert dog Morris, the latest insulin pump technology and his care team, Cameron is thriving and hopes to be a role model for other kids with diabetes. He shares his experience in time for National Diabetes Month.
Wherever 14-year-old Cameron Hendry goes – school, soccer practice, wakeboarding, shopping, even a trip to Hawaii – a Labrador retriever named Morris follows.
Morris is not only the high school freshman’s beloved pet. He is Cameron’s diabetes alert dog, always there on his left side to monitor his blood sugar and let him know when his level is too high or low.
Seven years ago, Cameron was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which blood sugar levels rise because the body stops making insulin. The chronic condition requires lifelong insulin via shots or an insulin pump.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include increased thirst, urination and weight loss. Fortunately, Cameron’s parents recognized his symptoms early and took him to Seattle Children’s emergency department. Cameron was diagnosed and his family received intensive education on how to manage his condition, which included checking blood glucose levels and giving insulin shots multiple times each day. There is currently no cure, though promising research is underway.
“Type 1 diabetes is quite a burden day to day on both kids and their parents,” said Erin Sundberg, ARNP, a pediatric nurse practitioner with Seattle Children’s Endocrinology and Diabetes team, who has been seeing Cameron for the past two years. “It requires round-the-clock vigilance because glucose levels can change due to activity and illness, so patients need to check their blood sugar multiple times each day.” Read full post »