Although most of you have heard about diabetes you may not realise how incredibly gruelling it is, especially for a 7 year old boy and his family. To give you a better understanding the below describes what they have to go through every day...
Mikey has to have his bloods tested to see if his glucose levels are high or low every hour or so, this means pricking his finger until it bleeds - and then using a machine to test.
If his bloods are low he needs sugar (red jelly babies are his favourite) to help the glucose level raise, he then has to sit and wait for at least 10-15 minutes for his blood levels to get higher, if they don’t he has to wait another 10 - 15 minutes and so on. Although you may not think this is a long time, it is to a young boy who is sitting watching his friends and brothers and sister play around him, and if his levels are high he needs insulin to take his levels down and that can take up to 2 hours!
Not only do his bloods have to be constantly monitored but so does his food - Mikey can’t just have a sweet from a friend or a piece of birthday cake at a party, every piece of food and drink he consumes needs to be calculated and he needs to be injected with insulin each time he eats. He is a small, active, growing boy and it is extremely difficult to get his levels spot on, they are often too high or too low and both are serious and dangerous.
This is Mikey’s daily routine. There are no days off or holidays. This is every single day - forever.
Then you have to realise that this doesn’t stop when he goes to bed, Mikey has no ‘hypo’ awareness during his sleep so every couple of hours throughout the night his mum Betsy and dad Danny wake up to test his bloods, and correct them by giving either sugar or insulin, because if they don’t catch the low and high levels, their son could slip into a diabetic coma - can you imagine how worrying that is?
After 2 years of this gruelling routine Mikey and his family are completely exhausted.
Mikey is so brave and courageous going through this 24-hours a day and do you know what, since the day he was diagnosed not once have I heard him complain, or cry or tell anyone it’s unfair. Nor his family, they just get on with it and do what they need to do and they’ve never asked for help from any of us.... but I want us to help because Mikey and his loved ones deserve it and that’s why I’ve set up this page.
So what can we do?
A few weeks ago Betsy discovered a charity that was willing to help. They specialise in something that will bring some normality back into their lives. Something that will give this family a break, something that will help with the dreadful worry.
What is this something? Well it’s actually a someone... it’s a very special little furry friend - just for Mikey!!
We want to raise money so that Mikey can get a 'Hypo Hound' - a children’s Hypo alert dog - these clever little pups are trained to smell the chemical body changes that occur as glucose levels increase or drop. This assistance dog will watch over Mikey as he sleeps and plays and will alert those around him when his levels are changing - how clever is that!!
Of course a dog of this calibre isn’t easy to find, and the intense training isn’t cheap, it costs the charity Hypo Hounds £12,000 each time, so we are hoping to raise some money to put towards Mikey's very special dog.
Even if we only raise £100 it’s £100 that will help this wonderful family! If you know Betsy you will know that she spends her life going out of her way to help others, especially children - those who come for play dates, need a lift to a party, be picked up from school or want to stay for a sleepover! She’s always looking after our kids even with 4 of her own so it’s about time we help look after her beautiful and courageous little boy!
We would appreciate any amount you can offer (we know January was the longest month in the world!) but even if you can donate just £5, that’s the cost of 1 coffee in Starbucks, or a sandwich in M&S or one glass of wine (it would be even more amazing if you could donate the cost of a whole bottle!!) and just imagine how much it will mean to Mikey and the rest of his family.
We also plan to arrange some fundraising events in the near future so if anyone has any ideas or donations it would really be appreciated.
Thank you for taking the time to read about Mikey - now please help us get him the special little dog that he deserves to change his life.