Boy And His Dog Fight Type 1 Diabetes Together
On the Facebook Page, ‘Saving Luke’, and www.savingluke.com website, one mom chronicles what it’s like to have a child with type 1 diabetes. Dorrie shares her son Luke’s story in hopes of finding a cure for this horrible disease, and helping others by providing resources, especially about service dogs.
The family welcomed their service dog, Jedi, into their home when he was only 11 weeks old. Some people prefer to have more mature, trained dogs, however, after being scammed by a company who made promises about a service dog that were not true, they decided to take on the task of training Jedi. They chose to get help from “Canine Hope for Diabetics after we had been scammed by another company who promised us things they couldn’t provide. Self training was so much work but thanks to Canine Hope’s support it has been over 3 years and Jedi is a true hero to Luke and our family. Having a DAD isn’t for everyone, it’s not easy but for us the benefits are immeasurable.”
Luke was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was only two-years-old. Since then, trying to manage his blood sugars is a daily struggle, especially at night. Jedi will wake them up when he senses Luke’s blood sugars going down, but usually before they reach a dangerously low level.
Nights are a little more restful with the help of a service dog like Jedi, but for parents of diabetic children, a good night sleep is not something that ever really happens. Parents still sleep with one eye open worrying about plummeting blood sugar levels. A recent post from the Saving Luke page started circulating on Facebook, and brought much needed attention to diabetes, and to Luke’s story. In the post, you can see Luke in bed while Jedi stands watch and Luke’s blood sugars show a low of 57.
This may just look like a dog, a sleeping boy and a number on a screen, but this, this moment right here is so much…
This may just look like a dog, a sleeping boy and a number on a screen, but this, this moment right here is so much more. This is a picture of Jedi saving his boy.
5 minutes before I took this picture we were all asleep. No alarms were going off, no one was checking blood, no one was thinking about diabetes, and it’s in those moments when our guards are down, when we are just living life, when we let our minds drift from diabetes, that it has the upper hand-and things can get scary very fast…but thankfully we have a Jedi.
Jedi jumped off the bed, then back on again, though I felt him do this I didn’t wake up. Then Jedi laid on me. I woke up. He jumped off the bed and half on and would not budge when I told him to get back up. I got out of bed, he bowed, Luke’s CGM said he was 100 steady. So I told Jedi we would watch and see, he bowed again (Bowing is his low alert), I told him to get up on the bed, he held his ground didn’t budge, he refused. Then I knew he meant business and the sleepy fog started to wear off and I began to think clearer. I suddenly was fully awake and I knew there was an issue. I pricked his finger and got this, 57 is way too low, and by Jedi’s behavior I guarantee he was dropping fast (he is still recovering from a stomach bug and anything under 70 is low).
Luke was laying right next to me, just inches from me, and without Jedi I would have had no idea that he was dropping out of a safe range. He has never woken up on his own for a low in over 4 and a half years. We are his safety net, he goes to bed every night, and although he doesn’t know it he relies 100% on us to keep him safe overnight. That’s why we check his blood sugar overnight, every night, and we have every tool, every monitor, and have spent everyday of the last 3 years training Jedi to alert to highs and lows, because type 1 diabetes is relentless and we need as much help as we can get.
This is a picture of a Jedi saving his boy. Amidst a disease that does everything in its power to make life so much harder, this is a picture of loyalty and love and perseverance. A reminder that we will not let diabetes win, that we will never give up, and that we will always fight for our children.
Good low Jedi, yes it’s time for a late night puppy party. ❤
(I had already given him a glucose tab to raise his blood sugar before I took this picture / there was nothing else I could do, so I took one second to take this quick picture – because in that moment while you’re waiting for your child’s blood sugar to come up like you’ve done thousands of times before and you’ll do thousands of times again, it’s very easy to feel alone in a world that doesn’t understand all that somebody with type 1 diabetes goes through on a daily basis. So in that moment I decided I would take a picture so I could later share this story, because if we don’t share our stories how would anybody ever know that this is what my son and millions of others go through every single day. Most people don’t know that we often see multiple lows and highs every single day no matter how hard we work or how diligent we are, it’s not easy trying to be a pancreas. That Luke’s had thousands of shots and finger pricks that started when he was just 2 and will never stop unless there is a cure. We need awareness about a disease that most of the world doesn’t understand, we need to help show the world why we so desperately need a cure)
The post has been shared 300,000 times, and garnered over 167,000 Likes, but most impressive might be the 25,000 comments! People shared words of encouragement, with many sharing stories and photos of their amazing service pets.
Share now to continue help raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes!