GUEST BLOG: Big Pete’s Superhero Run

Big Pete

Guest Blogger: Emily McClelland

This April will mark 4 years of Peter, my son, being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Late April of 2010 is a time my husband and I will never forget as parents. Peter was just 10 months old. For a little baby boy, he was very determined and strong-willed. Little did I know, his strong-willed personality would be a blessing in getting through hard times.

Peter became very sick with flu like symptoms in April of 2010. I called the doctor and the nurse told me to just continue to keep him hydrated. As a mother, my only concern was to just keep him hydrated and he would feel better in a couple of days. Keeping Peter hydrated on Gatorade and Pedialyte, only made matters worse for him. What I know now about type 1 diabetes is giving a child high carb drinks without insulin is a bad combo. He continued to become very ill. Vomiting came more frequently and I knew hydration was now an issue. He became very confused and lethargic and started vomiting blood. Not knowing it, Peter at 10 months old was going into Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

UntitledMy husband and I decided to immediately take him to the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital emergency room. But not before we got pulled over for speeding. After seeing Peter’s state, the police officer was nice to let us go. When we arrived at the ER, we were quickly given a room with many nurses and doctors. With everyone involved, there was much chaos. I will never forget the look of great concern on the faces of the nurses and doctors. Soon after being there, the ER doctor approached my husband and me to say, “He has type 1 diabetes and his sugar is 550”. He would then tell us Peter was not stable at the moment and much needed to be done. In that moment, I was consumed with heartache and helplessness. Peter would spend the next 3 days in the critical care unit and then 2 days in his own hospital room. A new definition of “trusting in the Lord” is something I had to relearn. During those days at the hospital, I remember being amazed at how strong Peter was.

Today, Peter receives 4 shots a day of insulin and his sugar is checked frequently. Peter is almost 5 now and doing well.

This April we celebrated Peter and his strong-willed personality by having a “BIG PETE’S Superhero Run”. The theme of the race came from his strength that he shows every day and once telling me, “Super heroes don’t need shots”.

Sarai Patino and Ms. Laura Stewart from South Haven Christian School graced us by singing the National anthem before the race.  Awards were given out to top male and female winners as well as age groups winners. Also, awards were given to the best dress superheroes. It was a wonderful time of love and support for Peter.

The event was held at J. Travis Price Park in Springfield, TN. The money raised went to JDRF. JDRF is committed to keeping individuals with type 1 diabetes healthy and reducing the burden of living with the disease until ultimately we have a world with no type 1 diabetes.  While we wait for that dream to become a reality, JDRF is making it possible to improve glucose control with drugs and devices, including the development of artificial pancreas systems. Also, for those patients who have lived with the disease for decades, JDRF believes it is essential to find new ways to prevent, reverse or treat the complications of type 1 diabetes. JDRF is dedicated to helping find a cure for type 1 diabetes and we are proud to be a part of that important mission on behalf of Big Pete and so many others!