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updated: 9/23/2013 9:02 AM

Palatine family dreams of moving from Type 1 to type none

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  • Colin and Klaire Bertrand of Palatine each have Type 1 diabetes. They'll be walking with their sisters and parents in the Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes in Busse Woods.

      Colin and Klaire Bertrand of Palatine each have Type 1 diabetes. They'll be walking with their sisters and parents in the Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes in Busse Woods.
    Courtesy of the Bertrand Family

 
Brodie and Rachel Bertrand, Palatine

Brodie and Rachel Bertrand will join the Busse Woods JDRF Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes.

It's 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday. All four of our kids are in bed and we are heading there as well. We have one last task to do before our heads hit the pillows -- check Colin and Klaire's blood sugar.

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Both have Type 1 diabetes. If we don't do this, we won't fall asleep. We will lay awake wondering if the kids' blood sugars are plummeting at a rate that will put them into a coma by the time we wake up in the morning.

Beep. Beep. Colin's glucose checker says 195. Klaire is 228. We give them a small dose of insulin to bring their blood sugars lower and pray that the insulin isn't too strong to paralyze them through the night.

The minute we wake up, we will head to their rooms and take a peek. We might give them a nudge to make sure they are not in a comatose state.

When they wake up, we'll take their first of 10 blood sugar readings for the day.

They say that parenting is the hardest job you'll ever have. Parenting and being your child's pancreas is ridiculously hard.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that starves the children from having a normal insulin-producing pancreas. We have fought this disease for eight years with our 9-year-old son Colin, but this March we were saddened to learn that our 4-year-old daughter Klaire also has the unfortunate journey to live with diabetes for life -- until we find Colin and Klaire a cure.

We walked in the Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes before we had kids. It was part of a team event at work, but the meaning became so much more personal when we learned about Colin's diagnosis and then again eight years later with Klaire. Our two other daughters are diabetes-free, but we're all walking to prevent them from getting diagnosed and to help Colin and Klaire improve their lifestyle and health.

These kids work so hard to maintain their blood sugars, but they are kids -- unpredictable and spontaneous -- and so are their blood sugars. The technology we have today is amazing, but it still only keeps them in a healthy range 30 percent of the time. Can you imagine being healthy for only one-third of the day?

We all know it takes a village to raise children. We're asking our village to consider taking a role to support our two kids by making a donation or contacting your representative to support Type 1 diabetes funding.

Make a donation to our team by visiting www2.jdrf.org/goto/colinscrew.

Write a letter to your congressman to support three years of funding for the Special Diabetes Program at advocacy.jdrf.org.

We are getting closer to having better technology to manage this disease and new medicine that will alleviate the highs and lows. And we realize that someday, we will move from Type 1 to type none.

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