Type One Diabetes nearly took away this South Jersey family’s child a year ago. Now, they’ve raising money to help find a cure.
The JDRF One Walk comes to Gloucester Township Oct. 28 at the Blackwood Campus of Camden County College. As described on the JDRF website, the goal of the event is to create a world without Type one diabetes.
Families from across South Jersey will come together to walk to support research and those affected by the disease. Type one diabetes affects children and adults suddenly, unlike Type two diabetes, and is not brought on by diet or lack of exercise before being diagnosed, but by the body changing itself.
For one family in Gloucester Township, this disease hits close to home.
Patty and Eric Scanlan’s son Cole was diagnosed with Type one diabetes on March 8 of last year.
Cole had been complaining of stomach pains. From what his parents could tell, he had no other symptoms on the surface. No fever, no problems with diet and his activity seemed normal for a 10-year-old.
After he continued to complain, they suspected something was wrong, so they took him to a pediatrician.
“The pediatrician realized he had lost weight, which I guess from seeing him all the time we didn’t realize he had lost weight,” said Patty Scanlan. “They decided to do blood work because they couldn’t find anything wrong with him.”
After having blood drawn, Cole became more lethargic as the day went on. He was always thirsty and didn’t really want to eat. His parents recognized something was wrong, and called the pediatrician.
However, without the blood work results, there was nothing they could do.
Until that night.
“At 2:30 in the morning, the pediatrician called me and said he had a very small window to get to the hospital because his blood sugars were just through the roof,” said Patty.
They rushed Cole to Virtua in Voorhees to stabilize his blood sugar and diagnosed him with Type one diabetes, before being transported after only about an hour to the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania where Cole stayed for a week, and the family was able to learn how to treat his disease.
Initially, Cole was nervous after being diagnosed with Type one diabetes. Being diagnosed at such a young age can change a child’s entire life, making them feel different in a way.
“It’s just so much to take in,” said Cole. “It was scary at first.”
However, thanks to the JDRF One Walk, Cole said he liked being able to see there are indeed other people just like him in the world.
This year marks the second year of the Scanlan family fundraising and being a part of the JDRF One Walk. Cole’s Crusader’s, their fundraising group, is once again fundraising and will be at the event in Gloucester Township.
For every vehicle the family sells at their business, ACP Auto, they donate $25 to the fundraising efforts and are also accepting donations on the JDRF website at www2.JDRF.org under the name Cole’s Crusader’s. At the time of this article, they have raised the most money of any team for the Gloucester Township walk at just over $12,000 thus far.