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Diagnosis: February 6, 2017

Braden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of 10.  “It was the day after the Patriot’s won the Superbowl,” said his mother Kristen.  “We figured he was just tired.”  With a 694 blood sugar and high ketones, her son ended up in the ER, then upstairs to the ICU.  She is very grateful to his UMass Memorial Pediatric Diabetes Care Team.

After a frightening, overwhelming and educational three days at UMass, Braden was back on the basketball court two days later.  “The nurses, educators, social workers, child life specialists and Dr. Angelescu are such a concrete team,” said Kristen.  “We were scared to go home, but they encouraged him to play his scheduled playoff game and live a normal life.”   

Today: Success

Now in 6th grade, Braden’s A1c is a low as it’s been since diagnosis…7.1%.  He credits that to his insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor CGM, which he’s been using for 10 months.  At first, he was afraid of “being different” and didn’t want others at school to see his tubing and/or “beep in class.”  With the help of his care team, he is now comfortable and confident managing his diabetes.  His pump and CGM are a part of him and he tests freely in front of others. 

Braden plays baseball, football, basketball and golf.  Each sport affects his blood sugar differently, and he’s learned how to manage the various situations. 

Giving Back

On his first diaversary, Braden decided to pack and donate bags for children who are in the hospital with a new diabetes diagnosis.  They were filled with coloring books and crayons, legos, cars, calculators, measuring cups, and books.  He included a letter which read "You can do anything you want in life. You are a #Type1Diabetes warrior too!"

Braden remembers being bored and having nothing to do besides watch TV when he was in the hospital.  A little over a month after returning home, he received the JDRF Bag of Hope, with information, supplies, and Rufus, the Bear with Diabetes®.  “I wish I had that stuff when I was in the hospital,” Braden said.  “So I decided to put these bags together for other kids to enjoy while they are still there.”  This past winter he delivered more bags on his 2nd diaversary and plans to make it an annual tradition.  What he’s lost in pancreas function, he has more than made up with in heart!

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