While most Canadians think they have some understanding of diabetes, many don’t realize that there are different forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, for example, is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-making cells of the pancreas. Without insulin, a person will die. There is no known cure. Patients with type 1 diabetes comprise about 9 percent of the overall diabetes population in Canada.1To manage their condition, people with type 1 diabetes must administer insulin daily, and require constant monitoring of their glucose levels to keep their diabetes under control.
Conrad Pow knows all too well the dramatic effect a type 1 diabetes diagnosis can have on a family. In 2018, at the age of four, his daughter Chloe was diagnosed with the condition. “I will never forget the day Chloe was diagnosed,” says Pow. “It was Halloween day and while other kids were looking forward to eating candy, we were on our way to the emergency room.”
Although Chloe’s parents noticed signs that something was wrong, diabetes just wasn’t on their radar. “We didn’t suspect diabetes because it doesn’t run in our family,” says Pow. “But it can happen to anyone, to any child.”
A difficult beginning
Life after Chloe’s diagnosis was difficult at first. “One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life was to send Chloe back to school after her diagnosis,” says Pow. “We live in Milton, ON, but both my wife and I work in Toronto so we were an hour away from Chloe’s school. We wondered whether people around her would know what to do if she got sick or if her glucose levels dropped dangerously low. It was so hard and we were constantly worried.”
Adding to the difficulty was that to manage Chloe’s diabetes, her parents would have to prick her fingers to check her blood sugar at least 10 times a day, which was not only painful for her but had to be performed by others while Chloe was at school. “Being apart from Chloe after she was first diagnosed was incredibly stressful,” says Pow. “We had been such a happy-go-lucky family, but after the diagnosis we were afraid to go anywhere.”
The Dexcom G6 has given us so much more peace of mind. It gives us information on where Chloe’s glucose levels are and where they’re heading at any time of day or night, and we can be alerted if they’re out of range. It gives us more confidence to live life, while still doing what needs to be done to manage Chloe’s diabetes.
Diabetes management made easier
The Pow family’s life changed when they discovered the Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System, which is approved for use by people with diabetes ages two and older. The Dexcom G6 offers real-time alerts and other monitoring features that allow people to manage their diabetes without fingerpicks.* And thanks to the Dexcom Follow app†, parents can also remotely monitor their child’s diabetes.
* If your glucose alerts and readings from the Dexcom G6 do not match symptoms or expectations, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions.
†Following requires the use of the Follow app and an internet connection. Followers should always confirm readings on the Dexcom G6 app before making diabetes treatment decisions.