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May 17 walk will support research; Logan's YouTube story
ORIOLE - Logan Hubert looks like any bright 7-year-old. He loves school, the outdoors and sports, especially the Indianapolis Colts. He's blessed with loving parents, grandparents and two sisters. But juvenile diabetes has a hold on this inquisitive, blond-haired boy with glasses. It's a disease he'll never outgrow and can't escape, not even for a day.
His daily routine revolves around his body's need for insulin - his doesn't produce any - and blood-sugar fluctuations that affect not only his energy and concentration, but his overall health.
While most boys his age deal with ordinary bumps and scrapes, Logan endures the soreness in his muscles left by four daily insulin injections administered by his parents or a school nurse and blood checks he needs from six to 10 times each day to keep his blood sugar at healthy levels. Even at his tender age, Logan talks freely of what it means to be a diabetic and has role models with the same disease who have done great things. He points to pro basketball player Adam John Morrison, who has become a hero for children with diabetes and their families.
Like thousands of other kids and adults with diabetes, Logan hopes for a cure and will join his parents, Stan and Lesley Hubert, and sisters Stella and Hannah for a fundraising walk next week in Spencer County. The third annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes, being held May 17 at Holiday World, could raise up to $250,000 for juvenile-diabetes research. The family even produced a video for YouTube that shares Logan's story with juvenile diabetes. Using family photographs, the four-minute video explores the ordinary side of Logan's life, swimming with his father, fishing in summer and tromping through the snow. It also shows him checking his blood sugar and, through small captions, shows how the disease affects the entire family.
The video has received more than 1,800 hits and has been accessed by viewers in Kuwait and Bangladesh.
Logan says coping with diabetes isn't that hard and compensates with energy and optimism common to many 7-year-olds.
"I try not to let it bother me. I get sore and tired sometimes but it's OK," Logan says of the blood-sugar checks, injections and the dietary rules that keep some foods off limits.
Now a second-grader at Perry Central Elementary School, he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in July 2004, just weeks after his fourth birthday. Stan Hubert is an emergency-room physician in New Albany and grew concerned after noticing Logan's unusual thirst and frequent urinations.
A urine test confirmed he has Type 1, often known as juvenile diabetes. The disease develops in children, adolescents and young adults and can't be prevented. Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as adult-onset diabetes and more common than Type 1 diabetes, usually develops in adulthood. Type 2 diabetics either don't produce enough insulin or can't use insulin effectively.
A healthy pancreas produces insulin to turn glucose in the blood into energy. People with Type 1 diabetes don't produce any insulin, which causes glucose to build up, causing high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. Untreated, diabetes can have serious effects on the body. High blood-sugar levels over a number of years can cause serious damage to organs and limbs. This damage may cause complications affecting the heart, nerves, kidneys, eyes and other parts of the body.
Injections give Logan's body the insulin it needs but monitoring blood sugar is part of his daily routine. Logan uses a modern meter to quickly test his own blood-sugar levels to keep a healthy balance.
People with Type 1 diabetes often struggle to determine how much insulin to inject, so Stan and Lesley watch for signs of low blood sugar, which could cause unconsciousness or seizures. While Logan does his own testing during the day, his parents do it at night to avoid waking their son.
The pain of testing and struggles with blood-sugar levels are difficult for loving parents, making the search for a cure important. "We are confident a cure will be found in his lifetime," Lesley said.
Logan's parents compliment the work of school officials and nurses Mary Jo Carter and Susan Huber. Many school districts don't have nurses on their staffs qualified to give insulin injections, but Perry Central does. That saves the Huberts from trips to school to give their son insulin.
But struggles remain. School birthday parties and holiday events often involve sugary food young diabetics can't have. "So often, cupcakes, cookies and candies are brought in to be shared with the class and it isn't easy when you are the only student who can't participate," Lesley said.
Logan's teachers often wrap the treats and send them home so his parents can work it in with his meal plan at home. They also try to find alternatives to sweets at Easter and Halloween.
"Every carb and sugar gram counts, so it's really important to keep those foods in balance with the amount of insulin," his mother said.
As he grows, an insulin pump could spare Logan injections. Common illnesses affect his blood-sugar levels and puberty will cause further fluctuations. But Logan remains positive and looks forward to the day, as his YouTube video predicts, when he'll receive a call from his doctor for Logan "to come in and get your cure."
Walking for a Cure
The third annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes will take place Saturday, May 17, at Holiday World. Last year's event drew more than 1,300 walkers and raised $240,000. This year's goal is to raise at least $250,000.
The event begins with registration, music and activities from 9 to 10:30 a.m. with opening ceremonies at 10:15. The walk will begin at 10:30 with closing ceremonies at 11. A picnic lunch will follow at 11. Walkers raising $50 or more will be admitted to Holiday World at no charge. The entire walk is approximately a mile in length.
Information on the work of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation can be found at www.jdrf.org. For more information on the May 17 walk, call Stacey Kubal at (317) 469-9604 or Dana Loble at (812) 858-1760.
Logan's YouTube video can be found at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=2fdLtLoDGpM.