LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — This Saturday morning, thousands of people will walk at Waterfront Park to stop diabetes. For the sixth year I’ll be there as WHAS11 sponsors this great family event.
It’s a disease striking 400,000 Kentuckians and is hitting people of so many ages, that diabetes specialists say they are overwhelmed with patients.
A diabetic must think about everything they eat and how that will affect their body, requiring even young people to figure out quickly, how they will cope.
At 14 Caleb Williams, a freshman at Eastern High School, is a standout.
You can point to many things as to why but if you ask his parents they’ll tell you right away his attitude.
“He doesn’t complain. He does not complain about having to do it,” Amanda Jacobs, Caleb’s mom, said.
Caleb’s been dealing with type one diabetes since sixth grade.
“I think he’s doing wonderful job. Caleb is always positive never complaining. Never says why is it me? I have to deal with this,” Travis Williams, Caleb’s father, said.
Caleb said he was stunned when he learned about this diagnosis.
“I didn’t know how to accept it at first, but I learned quickly,” Caleb said.
Did he ever; Checking blood sugar levels is what he lives with each day of his life.
“These are my strips. I just get one and put it in my meter and you push this,” Caleb said as he pricks his finger.
“Then I just touch this. It’ll come up on the screen…160. OK, so it’s a little high but not bad. I feel good,” Caleb said.
Normal blood sugar levels for people without diabetes range from 70-130.
Being type one means Caleb’s pancreas no longer produces any insulin. Insulin essentially breaks down food and keeping your energy levels consistent.
It’s the see-saw life of a type one diabetic and it requires constant checking. Amanda Jacobs is thankful that Caleb is taking charge.
“It’s so hard to think about a 14-year-old having to give themselves insulin for everything that you eat,” Amanda Jacobs said.
So how does he get insulin so crucial for survival?
He injects it several times a day, with a device called the NovoPen that he carries everywhere.
“According to what I’m eating I’ll turn the dial and then insert it into my arm and push it down, my arm or stomach area,”
Travis Williams, Caleb’s dad, says diabetes runs in his family telling me his family members didn’t take care of it or treat it well.
“Just the long term effects; getting him to understand it’s not about right now it’s about 5-15 years from now,” Williams said.
A hard sell to a 14-year-old who is on the run but fortunately for Caleb and his parents, this diabetic is smart about his future.
“I just haven’t let it get to me and I’ve taken care of myself pretty well,” Caleb said. “I hope someday there will be a cure.”
This is more than a walk. The event offers free vision and blood sugar screenings plus vendors with the latest diabetes technology.
WHAS11 is proud to support the Step Out: The Walk to Stop Diabetes. It’s a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association. It is this Saturday; registration at 9 a.m., the walk begins at 10 a.m. You can find us on the Great Lawn at Waterfront Park.
For more information on the walk and to register, call this local toll free number 1-888-diabetes ext: 3317.