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Deniliquin dad, son share diabetes journey

Deniliuqin's Jaxson Bateman was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about three months ago and is encouraging people to learn more about diabetes.

CASS SAVELLIS July 21, 2014 5:08pm

Ten year-old Jaxson Bateman has shown there is no sweat to living with diabetes.

Jaxson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about three months ago after being tested at home by his dad Joey.

Joey, 34, has been living with diabetes since the age of 21.

It meant Jaxson had a three to six per cent chance of being diagnosed with the condition.

The father and son team are now encouraging everyone to learn more about the disease, which was the aim of last week’s National Diabetes Awareness Week.

The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, there is no prevention or cure and results in the person being insulin dependent.

‘‘Sometimes I’ll test the kids with the blood glucose tester and one morning Jaxson’s test was off the scale,’’ Joey said.

‘‘After taking him to Deni Hospital, we were sent to a Shepparton hospital and stayed there for four days.’’

Jaxson now has two to four insulin injections per day and needs to check his blood glucose levels at least six times a day.

‘‘He is going good, his teacher is really helpful and reminds him to check his levels,’’ Joey said.

‘‘At first he thought it was cool to be the same as his dad, but I explained to him that it’s not!’’

Jaxson’s mum Jodi said the condition ‘‘hasn’t stopped him one little bit’’.

‘‘He can get annoyed with having to check his levels but that’s about it,’’ she said.

‘‘He can still eat anything, that’s one of the big myths. When he goes to a birthday party people think he’s not allowed to eat cake but it’s everything in moderation.

‘‘He has a set high fibre, low GI diet in relation to his insulin intake.

‘‘There are a lot of lifestyle changes you have to think about including the effects of cold weather, physical activity or stress.

‘‘But we have contact with a diabetes educator weekly and go to Shepparton to see a paediatrician every six weeks.

‘‘I think it’s easier for him than some kids as he’s grown up around a dad with diabetes.’’

Joey said staying positive and healthy has been the key to the pair living with the condition.

‘‘I’ve heard of diabetic burnout, where you give up on looking after yourself. It was discussed at a seminar I went to in Wagga about two months ago.

‘‘But having diabetes doesn’t affect my day to day life, I’m a farmer and earth mover and still do all of the things I’ve always done.

‘‘I think if you stay positive the more you’re in control and being healthy leaves you better off in the long run.’’

Type 1 diabetes represents 10 to 15 per cent of all diabetes cases and is increasing by about 3 per cent each year.

It is the most common chronic childhood diseases in developed nations and is not caused by lifestyle factors but believed that some people have a genetic predisposition.

Check your risk of diabetes with your local doctor or online at www.australiandiabetescouncil.com.

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