Deb and Ryan
Embracing my son’s life with Type 1 Diabetes.
Proud mum Deb shares her story about her son, Ryan’s diagnosis with T1D and what they’ve been up to since. “The need for a cure to T1D never stops. It began when my son Ryan was diagnosed at age two and half years of age. I knew something was amiss with Ryan, when I started to notice that he was beginning to drink excessively as well as frequently wetting. Not only was this a concern. I then started to notice a strange odour coming from his breath. It didn’t take long for a trip to our local doctor to get some answers. With a quick thinking doctor who decided to test Ryan’s blood sugar on the spot. Ryan’s blood sugar level was extremely high. The doctor advised me to take Ryan straight to the hospital. I remember asking the doctor if I had time to go home first to pack some bags, and arrange for my other child who was only six month’s old at the time to be looked after. The doctor’s reply was instant. “NO. You can’t go home first, you need to take him right away”. Straight from the doctor’s room Ryan was taken to Dandenong Hospital and then transferred to Monash Hospital in Clayton. Monash have all the diabetic specialists and educators there to support our family and help Ryan as a patient. When I discovered that my son would be on insulin for the rest of his life, it was a real shock, but it was something that I would overcome with time. Since the moment Ryan was diagnosed I started raising funds for a cure as well as sharing the awareness of T1D with family, friends and the community. Ryan was registered as a youth ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) at the age of 5. Ryan even started creating his own diabetes power point presentations throughout his school to help educate others about T1D. Ryan is going extremely well. He’s been on an insulin pump for some time and he finds it life changing. It gives him better control. The pump gives you more choices with going out and celebrating birthdays and other events. When he was two and a half he had daily injections but with the pump he only has one injection every three days. Being on a pump gives you more time up your sleeve, and you even get to sleep in. Ryan still has to check his blood glucose level at least eight times a day, every day, which involves pricking his fingers to get a result until there is cure for this disease. I have met quite a few families over the years through Monash Hospital, during educational seminars and to this day there are many families that I still keep in touch with, which is such a blessing. Ryan has taken many T1D kids under his wing. Support is everything! Every year in October we would register with JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, Albert Park in Melbourne. A t-shirt was designed in 2011 ready to be worn for the following year. The artwork was done by a great friend of ours that we have known for over 20 years. The image idea came from Ryan. Friends and family proudly wore the t-shirts. More than 11 years later the campaigning continues. The hope is of finally finding a cure for Ryan, now 13, and the 122,300 other Australians living with T1D. In August 2013 an awareness poster was created by myself and another T1D mother highlighting the symptoms of T1D. The poster has gone around Australia and I am very proud to say that I had the opportunity to place some posters over in America myself, in October 2013, while on holidays with my family. One thing I would like to mention is that you should never let diabetes stop you from following your dreams. Think positive and positive things will happen. Always talk to your child about their disease. And have a tight control on the diabetes as long as you can, they may get a little frustrated by this. It will pay off in the long run. I am sure that your T1 will be thankful for that. Deb Bayley Mother of a very brave T1D If you would like to get in touch with Deb, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org