The first I knew my daughter had diabetes was when an ambulance crew knocked on my door in the middle of the night. They were looking for a sick little boy that needed to go to hospital.
I remember clearly the day our lives changed.
It was February 2013, my daughter Darcy was two weeks shy of her second birthday and we planned a party for her, complete with a massive cake with a My Little Pony on it.
I noticed she was a little off colour, nothing dramatic, just tired and lethargic.
I thought it was just the onset of a cold or something so I kept an eye on her but wasn't too alarmed.
Teresa Newton and her daughter Darcy.
That was until I noticed her unquenchable thirst.
My toddler could down a 300ml bottle of water in one sitting without so much as taking a breath, in the morning her breath smelled like she'd been eating lollies and with a search of her bed I found nothing. Now I was perplexed.
Then I noticed she was constantly filling her nappy, like to the brim, constantly peeing.
It wasn't until I removed her clothes for a bath that my friend said Darcy looked thinner, I hadn't noticed too much but I put her on the scales and the poor girl had lost almost a third of her weight.
How had I not noticed?
We went straight to the doctors, I explained her symptoms and he sent us straight to
pathology for blood tests.
My husband Steven had seen that he had written "blood glucose test" on the forms. My heart sank, as it became clear the doctor was testing for Type 1 Diabetes. All of her symptoms pointed to just that.
We went home and waited for results. The longest wait ever.
I turned my phone on silent that night while I slept so I hadn't noticed the eight missed phone calls from an unknown number. I did notice when the ambulance pulled into my driveway at 2am.
Confused and wearing an old nightie, I met them outside, still dubious as to why they were here.
They said they were too, as it was a vague call-out to collect a little boy and the address was mine.
I didn't have a little boy so I was concerned, and offered to knock on all the doors to see if we could find him.
This poor little boy needed help and we needed to be quick.
I went to rush to the neighbours and as I did, they mentioned the boy's name was Darcy.
"I have a daughter named Darcy," I said.
I clicked, they clicked and we rushed inside my house.
They scooped Darcy up from her cot to check her vitals. She stood up. She was mad as a cut snake that she'd been woken up, not acting any differently – just pissed that we were there.
The paramedics got a hold of the doctor, the missed calls on my phone were from him trying to inform me that the pathology results came back at 1am.
A normal person's blood glucose levels- like yours and mine sit- between 4bgl and 8bgl depending on when and what we have eaten, and Darcy's were currently sitting at 48bgl.
This was a direct threat to her vital organs. She was likely to go into a diabetic coma or hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state if not treated immediately.
It was lights and sirens all the way to Princess Margaret Hospital.
We spent eight days in hospital learning about Type 1, being educated on how to maintain levels and get the best out of her everyday life.
Darcy was an absolute trooper, I think she liked the attention and absolutely loved Level 7 of the hospital.
We learned how to give her injections and finger-prick her to get levels, with all of the needles, blood and constant monitoring, she never once complained. Everyone around us was in a constant mourning state, they had sorries and hugs at the ready, but I have always taught Darcy from the beginning, this is not her fault.
This has no cause and there is nothing we can do to take it away so we not only live with it but we thrive with it.
I teach her to never feel sorry for herself; Type 1 is a manageable illness and thats exactly what we'll do – we'll manage just fine.
There are currently 1200 children with Type 1 here in WA and an additional 150 diagnosed every year.
Type 1 doesn't run in our family – genetic testing proved that.
This was completely random, Darcy caught a virus and her immune system became confused and started attacking her good blood cells. We never saw it coming.
We manage because of diabetic educators at PMH, our doctors and nurses and the support my family recieve from the Telethon Type 1 Family Centre. It's important to give back to those that give to us.
And that's why I started Charity Cup five years ago.
I am heavily involved with netball in Perth and I wanted to bring teams together
to raise awareness and funds for this local charity.
Our competition had grown massively over the years, starting with 26 teams it has now grown to almost 50.
Everything we raise goes to the telethon Type 1 Family Centre in Osborne Park and
this enables them to run camps and courses for children from regional and metro
areas, bringing them together to form a network of support for their peers, where
they can learn more about their illness and strive to overcome the restrictions and
live happy, long and positive lives.
Head down to Kingsway Outdoor Netball Complex for the 2018 Charity Cup to watch the mens, womens and mixed netball competition this Saturday, April 21, to see what it's all about. Come grab a sausage and Boost Juice, buy a raffle ticket and come enjoy yourself.
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