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Stepping up for a life without diabetes


When I first noticed unusual symptoms in my son Liam, then 6, there was little cause for concern.

He was generally a healthy child, but we started to notice that he always seemed to be thirsty and even a little sluggish at times. But, there were no major alarms bells that would tell a parent that something wasn’t right with their child’s health.

One morning, while on a camping trip with our family, Liam woke up feeling listless, his eyes were weary, his breathing was heavy, and his skin tone had turned a shade of grey. The family was concerned and rushed Liam to the local hospital only to learn he was already in the state of diabetic ketoacidosis, a severe complication of untreated type 1 diabetes.

All we kept thinking was how could this be? How did we not know that our little boy had this disease? Our poor child was entering a diabetic coma, fighting for his life, and we were all in a total state of shock.

With the amazing care at the hospital, Liam was quickly diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic.  Our family was educated on how to manage the disease and keep Liam healthy. We came to terms with the fact that he would be insulin dependent for the rest of his life, but the daily needles were the hardest part to get used to.

Having to inject our son four times a day was the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to overcome.  Who wants to hurt their child? He would often cry, have tantrums, and try to get away from the needle because he was so afraid. But we knew that we had no choice otherwise Liam would end up back in the hospital.

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Today, Liam is a vibrant and growing eight year old boy and this will be the second year he leads Team Liam in the TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes. Liam is fighting not just for himself, but for other kids too so they can be free of daily needles, insulin worries and feeling sick all the time. Finding a cure would mean freedom. Freedom from finger pokes. Freedom from having to analyze every single meal our child eats. Freedom from worrying about him passing out from low blood sugar levels. A cure would change our lives.

That’s why we are walking to help find a cure on June 9, so that no other child has to go through this traumatic experience. I am so proud of my company TELUS for supporting such an important cause that affects so many, especially our young. Since 2000, TELUS and our team have donated more than $7 million to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. I know that we can continue to make a difference when we walk together. I am filled with so much hope.

Liam always says, “Mom, diabetes sucks.” But we know that diabetes won’t stop our brave little boy from enjoying the happy and normal life that he deserves.

– Julie Moore is a TELUS team member based in Scarborough, Ontario.