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A thirsty 2-year-old isn’t likely to arouse concerns – especially during the brutal heat of a Midwestern summer. But Mason Brennan’s mother knew something was amiss in August 2014 when her son’s requests for water became excessive.

“He’d come home from daycare and ask for some water and down the whole cup,” Katie Brennan said. “He’d ask for another and chug it down and then want another.”

Soon after, the Derby, Kan., toddler began waking up each morning in a soggy mess after soaking through his diaper, PJs and bedding.

When she got a text from daycare one day that her son was acting extremely tired – to the point of laying down for a nap on his own, something completely out of character for him – Katie knew she had reason for concern.

A call to the pediatrician resulted in a quick check-up – and same-day admittance to the hospital. Mason had Type-1 diabetes.

Heavy hitting help

Such an unexpected diagnosis might lead many parents to panic. But Katie says the support she and Mason’s dad, Ryan, received from the staff of the Children’s Mercy Wichita eliminated their worries. In particular, Diabetes Educator Jackie Aday, RN, CDE, was “a godsend.”

Jackie carefully oversaw their education on the continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and insulin pump that is now a critical part of their son’s life.

“For about three months we would text almost every single blood-sugar reading, day and night – 10-15 times per day,” Katie said. “Jackie would respond with changes to make to his pump settings.

“The fact that we could call or text at all hours of the day or night and get a response was nothing short of amazing. We had no idea what we were doing, but [the staff] took a large portion of the fear out.”

In a league of their own

An energetic little baseball player, Mason has had no problem adjusting to his new health status, his mother said. “We haven't allowed [his diabetes] to impact his life negatively at all.”
Today’s advanced technologies have been key. “So far, he has been able to participate in any activity he has wanted to,” Katie said. The technology helps the parents maintain peace of mind because his numbers can change so much and so fast based on his activity, weather and what he has eaten prior.

“Both his insulin pump and his CGM are waterproof, so he was able to take swim lessons and we were able to go to the beach and never even had to disconnect from either device,” Katie said.

But technology only goes so far, though. Katie said the Children’s Mercy staff deserved the most credit for Mason’s easy transition. She said she was so grateful for their patience and dedicated care.

“They didn’t have to give us their cell phone numbers. They didn’t have to allow us to wake them up in the middle of the night,” she said. “We will never, ever forget that!”

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