However, Liam's dual diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and Down Syndrome makes things complicated for Liam. You see, most diabetics can sense physical changes when their blood sugar goes too high or too low. By sensing this, they can then treat the issue and avoid complications that include heart damage, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, and even possible sudden death.
Liam has always struggled with sensing what is going on in his body. Many times in his life, he has gotten very sick with only the mildest of symptoms and has still insisted he "feels good." The average type 1 diabetic experiences 1-2 life threatening low blood sugars per year. As his Mom, I am sure Liam will never feel these coming. We are in the process of getting him a continuous glucose monitor, which will help a lot. However, given his multiple special needs, I feel a dog is necessary to insure his safety. One reason for this is what is called a fast drop. In this situation, blood glucose plummets rapidly, which the CGM (continuous glucose monitor) may fail to catch. A severe low would require emergency injection with a medicine called glucagon. A diabetes alert dog would alert to this fast drop even if the CGM had not detected it. It could also bring Liam carbs like a juice box to correct the drop even if he was too weak to walk.
A diabetes alert dog is trained to alert the handler not only to these fast drops, but anytime the blood sugar is below 80 or over 180. Thank God that our Creator gifted dogs with a nose that can smell these changes, that are undetectable to the human nose. Not only could this dog save Liam’s life, it would vastly improve the quality of his life by preventing lows and highs that could make him ill or lead to long-term complications.
If you don’t know Liam, I can tell you he is one of the purest, most innocent and lovable souls I know. He would give anyone the shirt off his back if they needed it and sees the good in everyone. He has taught me to live in the moment and to see the joy in the simple pleasures of life. Please help us provide Liam the protection he so deserves and needs at this time.
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