Reporter: Shannon Samson
Web Producer: Kerry Corum
Type-two Diabetes has been in the medical headlines because of the obesity epidemic in the United States. We're hearing less about type-one Diabetes, which affects children and young adults.
One Owensboro family is trying to increase awareness about juvenile diabetes.
When Jason and Lisa Boone of Owensboro rushed their infant son to the emergency room a little over a year ago, the last thing they expected to hear was the word "diabetes".
Now that word has become a huge part of their everyday lives. It is a burden, but a manageable one. Jason and Lisa have gone to great lengths to make sure their two-year-old son Seth is as happy and active as any other toddler.
Still, few are this oblivious to getting poked with a needle.
Born perfectly healthy, there were no signs of trouble until eight months later when Seth started vomiting uncontrollably. His parents rushed him to the emergency room.
Lisa says, "His eyes kept rolling back in his head, but he had been up all night so he would fall asleep on us, which we later found out he was going into a diabetic coma."
The hormone insulin attaches to a cell, and allows the cell to absorb the glucose, which is converted into energy. For type-one diabetics, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, are destroyed. Without the insulin, not only are cells starved of energy, but glucose builds up in the bloodstream damaging blood vessels, nerves and organs.
At first, Mom and Dad controlled Seth's blood sugar with several shots of insulin each day. But at 18-months, doctors decided he could be put on an insulin pump. He is the youngest person ever to have one in Kentucky. The pump delivers a steady stream of insulin into his body throughout the da,y and a surge at every mealtime.
Seth's dad Jason says, "Seth can get up now, and if he wants to have a glass of orange juice or chocolate milk for breakfast, or a chocolate donut which he loves, he can do that and he doesn't have to worry about the consequences." And neither do his parents.
They now know the warning signs of trouble, and say even Seth is starting to recognize them too. It's a lot for a two year old to comprehend, but his parents manage to look at the bright side. Lisa says, "If he's going to get it, we're glad that he got it as young as he did because that's all Seth knows."
If it weren't for the pump, Seth would look like any other kid. Ironically, it's the pump that gives him the freedom to act like any other kid.
The boone family invites you to take part in this Saturday's America's Walk for Diabetes. It starts and ends at the Casino Aztar Events Plaza in downtown Evansville.