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[IP] "saltwater made its way into Ian's insulin pump"
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- Subject: [IP] "saltwater made its way into Ian's insulin pump"
- From: email @ redacted
- Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 06:59:40 EDT
- Reply-To: email @ redacted
NEWS -- THECABIN.NET -- Family has no vacation from juvenile diabetes 09/11/00
Family has no vacation from juvenile diabetes
By FRED PETRUCELLI
Log Cabin Staff Writer
Monday, September 11, 2000
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By Fred Petrucelli
There is no vacation from diabetes, says a Conway mother who has endured the
torment and intrusion of the illness since 6-year-old Ian was born.
This verity was brought home forcefully when the Newton family, Gene, MissE,
Libby and Ian, were on vacation and experienced a frightful night when
saltwater made its way into Ian's insulin pump, causing the instrument to
malfunction, and putting the youngster in great danger.
"Ian went on insulin pump therapy in March," Mrs. Newton said, as she
recounted in graphic detail the events of that night at the seashore.
"The pump is a machine, the size of a beeper, that delivers a steady amount
of short-acting insulin to Ian every hour. We program the pump to deliver one
unit of insulin for every 30 grams of carbohydrate Ian eats. It has been
wonderful. We don't have to adhere to a rigid schedule of snacks and meals
anymore because we can control the amount of insulin going into Ian's body.
He even got to try cotton candy recently."
Yet, Ian's fingers must be pricked five to six times a day to check his blood
Obviously, Ian was doing as well as could be expected until his insulin pump
became wet. The pump is placed in a "waterproof" box when Ian swims or bathes.
The Newtons were totally unprepared when the pump became wet and
malfunctioned. "We did not have any of the longer-acting insulin we used
before Ian was put on the pump."
Mrs. Newton's concerns grew as Ian's blood sugar began to climb to dangerous
levels. Checking the lad's blood sugar and giving him injections every hour
became the regimen at this point.
She recalled that her husband and his father drove hurriedly into town
seeking a drug store to find the insulin. They drove for a half hour before
they discovered a Walgreens Drug Store that stayed open 24 hours in the small
community of Perdido Bay, Ala. They purchased the insulin and raced back to
the family's beach place.
"It was a tough night. We made it through the weekend on our old system of
insulin injections, which Ian hated," Mrs. Newton said.
"The company that manufactures the pump was great through all of this. They
sent us a new pump, which arrived on Monday morning. It made us realize how
Ian's diabetes will intrude into our lives when we least expect."
Mrs. Newton tells the story not to induce sympathy but to bring notice of the
"Walk to Cure Diabetes" scheduled to take place in Little Rock on Saturday,
"We will be there to walk and we are asking for support by urging people to
make a generous tax-deductible contribution to the Juvenile Diabetes
Foundation," Mrs. Newton said. She suggests that checks be made payable to
JDF and mailed to the Newtons at 3250 Marlsgate Drive, Conway, by Wednesday,
Mrs. Newton, who stays abreast of research into diabetes, is happy to note
that advances have been made in finding a cure and one such finding has
resulted in transplanting human pancreatic islets (cells in the pancreas that
produce the hormone insulin) into people with Type 1 diabetes.
She said the JDF, in conjunction with the Research Council of Canada,
provided financial support for the pre-clinical studies that led to the
evolution and development of this protocol, known as the Edmonton protocol.
"There are still many problems with transplanting islet cells, but we are one
step closer to our goal of finding a cure for diabetes," she acknowledges.
Ian began kindergarten this year. He is very excited about school and Mrs.
Newton is "very nervous about a new group of people taking care of Ian."
Ian attends school with his diabetic pump. He takes lunch prepared by his
mother, who depends on the school nurse to monitor the Ian's diabetes and his
pump during the school day.
"Hopefully we will find a cure before Ian enters junior high school," says
Statistics say that more than 16 million Americans suffer from diabetes and
the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there are 120 million people
with diabetes worldwide and WHO says the number will skyrocket to 300 million
(Staff writer Fred Petrucelli can be reached by phone at 505-1256.)
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