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Zander

| May 22, 2015

A thank you letter sent in from Zander’s family:

Dear First Hand Foundation,

For the past two years we have tried multiple times to get approved for a continuous glucose monitor for our six-year-old son, Zander, who has been Type 1 diabetic since the age of two, only to get denied by our insurance company each time. Not a lot of people understand what life is like with a Type 1 diabetic child and how much effort it takes to keep them safe and healthy. The same medicine that he needs to keep him alive could also kill him with just the slightest mistake. Zander is hypoglycemic unaware, which means he doesn’t feel when his sugar is low because his sugar drops so fast. It’s a constant tightrope that we walk, and the fear of his number dropping too low (which could cause seizures, a coma and death) is terrifying.

One night while talking with my mom and explaining to her how great a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) would be for Zander, I decided one way or another I was going to find a way to get him this life changing/life saving device. I spent over two weeks searching the internet for countless hours and sending messages to different charities seeing if they could help. Unfortunately, most of these charities didn’t help individual people in need. Then I came upon the First Hand Foundation website. I sent a message asking if our situation was something they could help with and heard back from a case manager right away. She encouraged me to apply and said it would definitely be something eligible for consideration. With her help, we applied and waited for the committee meeting. Just a couple weeks later we got the call that First Hand was going to provide Zander with a CGM and a whole year’s worth of sensors. I could barely speak through the tears of happiness.

Tonight, I’m writing this letter from the living room while my son is asleep in his room and for the first time in four years I’m not wondering if he’s okay, or if I gave him too much/too little insulin for his snack, or if his sugar is dropping fast from jumping on the trampoline earlier. For the first time since his diagnosis, I KNOW he is okay. I am looking at the screen of his continuous glucose monitor and can see he is a perfect 130 and steady. I can’t even describe how amazing this is for our whole family.

I can now view his number from my cell phone no matter where he is. We were able to get the CGM connected to the school’s Wi-Fi so I am able to monitor him and keep him safe while he is there. It’s only been a week and this has saved him twice from lows that would have been in the 50s or lower before they were caught. Three days after we received the CGM, I saw his blood sugar dropping while Zander was in music class at school. It was still an hour before his next finger check, so I was able to text his teacher to give him juice and we corrected his drop before he got below 85. The very next day I was waiting in the school pick up line and saw his CGM say 90 with an arrow down, meaning he is dropping pretty fast. The line wasn’t moving and it would have been another 10 minutes at least before I got to him, so I parked my car and ran up to get him. He was 69 when I tested. These are just two of the examples that show how much the CGM has changed our lives.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you SO much for being willing to provide our son with this blessing. Although I’m trying, I could never put into words just how much it has changed all of our lives for the better. You have provided our family with a miracle and we will be forever grateful.

Sincerely,

Zander’s family

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