aldenAlden was born a healthy 8lb 2.7oz baby boy and was in the 90th percentile for height and weight; but by his 6 month well-baby check, he had dropped down to the 5th percentile. By his 9 month check, he had fallen completely off the weight chart, and shortly thereafter came down with what we thought was the flu. His pediatrician told us to just keep him hydrated, but the next morning we decided to take him to the ER to get him re-checked. Alden was immediately rushed to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with a blood glucose level of 1107, and was suffering from severe Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Only 10 months old, Alden was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and his life and our world was forever changed.

There’s been lots of highs and lows (both literally and figuratively), but we found the courage to go on, and life has settled in to a “new normal”. Alden is now a thriving 6 year old. He wears an insulin pump site on his toosh, a Continuous Glucose Monitor sensor on his arm, and even has a Diabetic Alert Service Dog named “Senka”. He loves computers, solving math equations, doing art projects and reading books… but most of all, Alden LOVES “Kids With Courage”! While Alden may only be a Kindergartener, he recognizes that his diabetes makes him “different”. He has already experienced teasing and ridicule from his peers, been left out of activities and discriminated against, yet he always rises above it all. Alden doesn’t let it get him down, and instead just shrugs it off saying, “It’s okay– because I am a ‘Courageous Kid’!” His upbeat attitude comes from being a part of the “Kids With Courage Foundation”; from the very first Outreach Event we attended, we’ve seen a difference in Alden’s self esteem. He was no longer alone. He was no longer “different”. No longer pitied or discriminated against. Instead, he was supported, encouraged, accepted and yes- even loved!

While no parent ever wants their child to be diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, we are proud of how Alden doesn’t let his diabetes slow him down. On his first day of Kindergarten he introduced himself to the class by saying, “Hi my name is Alden, and I’m a “kid with courage”, because courage means you’re tough!” And yes, he truly is a Courage Champion!

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