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T1DFC: My son living with type1 diabetes

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I'm Matthew Clarke, 35 years old, born and raised in Ipswich, Suffolk, currently living in Colchester,
Essex .I have 3 children, my middle son named Keiarno was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the
age of 3 years old (now 10).

What is type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes is a serious condition where your blood glucose (sugar)
level is too high because your body can’t make a hormone called insulin . This happens because your
body attacks the cells in your pancreas that make the insulin, meaning you
can’t produce any at all.

How diabetes unfolded: Keiarno was 3 years old, he would wake up in the night screaming wanting
chocolate biscuits and drinking a lot every night. We just thought he was hungry and thirsty,
however turned out that his sugar levels was so high.

Keiarno's mum took his urine sample to the doctors as she noticed something not right with Keiarno
eating and drinking habits, I was at work at the time. I got a phone call i would never forget from
Keiarno's mum, saying he has diabetes and need to go in hospital asap as his blood sugar levels was
28. I stayed in hospital with him for 4 nights. Keiarno’s mum was there everyday but wasn’t aloud at
night, as she was 39 weeks pregnant and very emotional , we was seeing nurses injecting needles
into Keiarno to get his sugar levels down with insulin. I had to sometimes bear hug Keiarno so he
has his insulin, he would be screaming and rejecting the needle. For me personally it was very
hard to watch and absorb what going on around me, i was completely numb emotionally wrecked, it
was all out of my hands.

I remember seeing the head diabetic nurse the next morning and told her is there anyway i could have an operation so Keiarno 
could have my pancreas and i have his so i live with type1 diabetes, unfortunately Keiarno’s cells
would still attack the pancreas. felt like my world just got turned upside down even more.

I definitely had bad thoughts running into my head, thinking I’m leaving and not going to return to
the family home, however. I thought twice about leaving as its not Keiarno’s fault and the family
needs me and also a baby on the way.

Next week Keiarno’s mum was in labour at the hospital, she wanted me to stay at home
with Keiarno. As he needed his medical treatment. I was gutted as i was going to miss the birth of my
son. I reached out to Keiarno’s granddad to take Keiarno to the hospital for his injections. I drove to the hospital, i was literally running down the corridors, once i managed to find the delivery suite where Keiarno’s mum was she was
fuming with me when i entered the room because of Keiarno. But he was in safe hands at the
hospital with the diabetic nurse. 15 minutes later my son was born.

I am labelled the rock, didn’t show any emotion towards my family i was chasing Keiarno around the
house and garden with the insulin pen, we all didn’t have a choice, but we just had to do what we
had to do, otherwise Keiarno would of had compilations i.e. diabetic coma. 

I had to stay strong for my family as emotions were running high as i was the rock on the outside,
inside this rock was crumbling from the core i couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. it has
been a emotional rollercoaster for everyone. I just couldn’t let my family see my weakness. Anyone
who has been in the same situation as us and kept strong you have my utmost respect.

Keiarno has had a insulin pump for a few years now and freestyle libre for monitoring his levels
its a lot easier as Keiarno can identify when he is high or low but its a 24/7 job we all work hard as a
team day and night to keep his levels balanced. i did finally see the light end of the tunnel.

Keiarno loves to play football (goalkeeper) he’s played at a young age, he’s played for local
grassroots teams, Colchester United in the community, Chelsea development. I have been with him
every step of his football journey to support him and manage his diabetes during matches when
needed, end of the day I’m just a dad watching his son play football in the rain.

I am currently in the process of making my own diabetic football team called "T1DFC" (Type 1
Diabetic Football Club) also include sibling effected by Type,  i will donate to JDRF and DiabetesUK at
end of the seasons, hoping one day will research a cure, purely voluntary. I will start at u 12s next
season, in the Colchester and District youth football league. My dream is to have from u7s-u18s
across the league, even across UK all donating for the same end result.

T1DFC will be unique as it will be inspiring to see, all parents and children will be one family on and
off the pitch. These children have medical needs therefore, i will make T1DFC a happy environment for everyone No Negative only praise!

I’m looking at costs to start up the under 12s but unfortunately with the funds i have, isn’t nowhere
need what i need, pitch hire, kits, training equipment, etc. i had no choice to reach out to you to help me me kick-start T1DFC, also your donations towards the football club is also closer to hopefully find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

I appreciate you taking time for reading my story.




Matthew Clarke

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