One Peterview family’s experience with diabetes inspired them to help others in the same situation.
Brett Samson, usually an energetic and sociable eight-year-old, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes three days before Halloween in October 2020.
“It was certainly a curveball for our family,” said his father Corey Samson.
Corey was in the woods when his wife Stephanie called to tell him she was taking her son to the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Center in Grand Falls-Windsor because Brett had a headache and was sluggish.
Brett’s sugar had dropped to 26 and he was diagnosed with diabetes.
In advance, Corey and Stephanie noticed that their son was not acting the way he usually did. He also got up more at night to go to the bathroom and drank more water.
“As rough as it is, we’re out of the ‘why-us’ stage and we’re making it through with the help of our family, friends, and doctors, and it helps that we have a smart kid who’s got that head on,” Corey said .
In the months that followed, the family grew accustomed to the challenges of managing Brett’s diabetes and dealing with the intricacies of sugar levels, counting carbohydrates, and getting used to being given insulin.
It helps that they have a good support system. Both Corey and Stephanie work at their son’s school and can be there for their son during school hours.
You have other family members who either work with diabetes or have dietary experience. Both have been vital in the months since diagnosis.
The Samsons also learned the cost of treating the disease. That’s the cost of consumables like test strips, insulin, and needles, as well as devices like the Dexcom G6 that Brett can use to monitor his readings on his cellphone.
Corey said his family was well insured and financially sound enough to be able to afford what they needed.
With that in mind, they recently launched a fundraiser to help families who don’t have the resources they have and who may be struggling with financial responsibilities.
“We thought we had to do something here to help,” Corey said.
The decision to found such a company is still in its infancy. On March 27, Corey officially announced her plan in a video posted on his Facebook page.
They still don’t have an official name, although Brett’s Stand for Diabetes is a working title and there are plans to start fundraising as soon as possible.
The Samsons have been avid mountain bikers for the past decade and felt that a family-oriented bike day would be a good event to get started with when the weather is nice.
It’s something that the board is fun and through which it can contribute to the community. It will help create awareness while raising money at the same time.
They also plan to sell t-shirts, make commitments, and organize other events.
In a prepared statement, Kimberley Hanson, executive director of federal affairs for Diabetes Canada, said the necessary equipment for diabetes for families can cost up to $ 15,000 a year and some of the modern treatment devices can cost thousands a year.
She said that with the support of family, friends, and their health care providers, some people are living well with the disease while some struggle.
“Living with diabetes is a 24 hour job with personal and financial burdens. There are no vacations, no days off. There’s a lifelong balance between diet, exercise, blood sugar tests, and medication, ”said Hanson.
Diabetes Canada is working with governments across Canada to promote public coverage of these devices for those who need them.
Samson sets up her charity through the Canada Revenue Agency.
You want to set up a website that has a short application process that people can apply to once everything is ready.
The response so far has been great, said Samson. Since posting his short video, people in the province have contacted him
elsewhere in the country looking for help.
“That was the first time we’d posted about it publicly, and it’s absolutely mind-boggling,” said Corey. “We didn’t expect that.”
Nicholas Mercer is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering central Newfoundland for the SaltWire Network.