Ten-year-old Coltan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at nine months old and is “100 per cent insulin dependent,” his mother Meghan Daniel said.
He didn’t let it stop him, though, from riding his bike over large jumps, rock climbing, or any other physical activity at this year’s Fraser Valley Sun Life Walk to Cure Diabetes for JRDF – formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The Cloverdale family, including Coltan’s older brother, younger sister, parents, and two sets of grandparents have raised close to $65,000 dollars for the cause in the nine years since he was born.
“One of our mottos during fundraising is that ‘we’re just taking diabetes along for the journey,’ and ‘not letting it stop him’ from the things he wants to do, Mom said.
“Their family is amazing, they’re really driving for a cure,” said JRDF regional director Dayna Backus.
Coltan told the Aldergrove Star the reason he fundraises and walks every year is “to find a cure.” His mother agreed adamantly.
Fraser Valley teams raised more than $70,000 of the eventual $160,000 goal, culminating in a walk held Sunday at Aldergrove Athletic Park.
Families – donning all sorts of unifying colours, capes, and team names – walked the park route that winded through neighbourhood areas of Aldergrove.
“It’s really enjoyable out here. People are loving it,” Backus said.
Nationally, with more than 60 walks in Canada, the organization is poised to reach their 2019 goal of $5 million of fundraising, which will go towards Type 1 diabetes cure research and efforts.
Though Coltan is somewhat “used to” living with Type 1 diabetes, “there’s still times when he can’t go out for recess with friends because he has to deal with drops in his blood sugar,” his mother elaborated.
For their family, a cure would mean “just to have the freedom and not have to worry,” she said.
A lot of families go through a lot of worry at night time especially”as diabetic children are susceptible to dangerous drops in insulin, which is needed to regulate the bodies’ blood sugar.
“It’s 24/7 – there’s never a day or a night off once they’re diagnosed with Type 1. It’s go-time from day one. You can never take a break from that,” Daniels admitted.
Ten years ago, Coltan’s family had to decide between giving their infant son frequent needles or inserting an insulin tube pump under skin on his abdomen.
His parents chose the pump, explaining “he used to have to be connected to something at all times,” to check his blood sugar.
Luckily, technological advancements have been made in way of insulin management.
For the past two years, Coltan has been using a wireless, waterproof pump that attaches to the skin behind his upper arm.
“It’s the sort of new technology that only comes through fundraising,” the mother emphasized.
June 30 will be Coltan’s 10 year “diaversary,” as the family calls it.
The Daniels plan to continue to fundraise for JRDF yearly until a cure is found.