Every day he endures pains and discomforts that I cannot comprehend. Well, maybe a little bit… but I can only relate in the short-term. He has to endure this stuff with no end or relief. I’ve often wondered why so many give up simply because they’re tired of the rigors involved, but when I humbly put myself in their shoes I begin to understand.

It just never ends…

He’s only seven years old, and he’s already taught me a lot (see also broken). Specifically, he’s taught me more about strength than I’ve been able to learn in my entire life.

His name is Samuel, and he is my son. He was diagnosed with Type 1 (a.k.a. Juvenile) Diabetes when he was 17-months old. Since that earth-shattering (at least for us) day in the children’s hospital, our most important responsibility is to manage his blood sugar levels. That requires…

  • 6-8 finger pricks every day to check his blood sugar levels
  • counting of every carbohydrate that enters his mouth
  • wearing an insulin pump (about the size of a pager/cell phone) 24/7
  • changing the insulin pump’s infusion set (with a big needle) every 2-3 days

The scars on his body are a constant reminder to me that this is something that he will never grow out of. No change in his diet will ever cure him of this. This is his routine for the rest of his life.

I see the marks from the pricks on his fingers and wonder if he lives with constant pain in his hands. How does it feel to have to pick up a pencil at school with sore fingers? Or a knife and fork at dinner time?

I have a tough time fully comprehending what his life must be like. But I do know that he does it anyway without any end in sight.

That makes him the strongest boy that I know.

Until we can find a cure for this disease that destroys his precious little body inside and out, it is my job to minimize the damage as much as possible by keeping his blood sugar levels under control. And it’s this very work that causes the external scars that remind me that I must do something.

[youtube XA8F3Y6RhfM 2010 Walk for Samuel]

Every year, we join the Walk to Cure Diabetes in our area. If you would like to sponsor me in the 2010 Walk, you can do so here.

You can also watch our videos from previous years on the Walk for Samuel channel on YouTube.

the strongest boy i know

by Dan King time to read: 2 min
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