Categories

Home » Features » Family & Parenting » Living with Type 1 Diabetes in Haddam

Living with Type 1 Diabetes in Haddam

Written by K. Brown.

Logan Merwin, age 9, is your average Haddam Elementary School kid, playing soccer every fall and baseball in the spring. He also likes to ride his bike, play with Legos, and collect and study money. He also has to test his blood 6-10 times per day, because when he was 17 months old, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes).

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar/glucose to enter cells to produce energy. Though it is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents, it can occur at any age. Symptoms can include: increased thirst, frequent urination, bedwetting in children who previously wet the bed, extreme hunger, unintended weight loss, irritability, fatigue, weakness, blurred vision.

Logan has participated in every Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for the Cure (more information here) since he was diagnosed, and has raised close to $10,000 for the organization. You may have seen his change jars around town, where he collects money for the walks.  Usually they collect the donation jars in September, but this year, they’re leaving the jars in place until the end of November because he’s running in the Disney marathon in early January with the JDRF race team. There was an $850 fundraising minimum, which he has surpassed, and he’s hoping to beat all the adults who are fundraising. His personal fundraising page for JDRF can be found here.  He has also been the youth ambassador for the last two Promise Balls, another fundraising event for the charity.

logan-conference-picture

Logan with Charlie Kimball, race car driver

Logan launched a fundraiser this past summer for a small non-profit, Children with Diabetes (website), Friends for Life. They provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes through their website, according to Jeff Hitchcock. They also run an annual education event for children every summer. The Merwins have gone the past two years and according to Samantha Merwin, Logan’s mother, “It’s life changing for these kids. He spoke in front of a group of 1500 at their banquet and asked everyone to run a hat day at their schools on 11/14. We are doing it at HES.” He won four Disney tickets for being the kid who raised the most money prior to the 2016 conference. This past July, Logan asked everyone at the Friends for Life conference to consider a National Hat or Pajama Day at their school on World Diabetes Day, November 14, to raise money for Children With Diabetes. His goal is to have all kids who want to make a difference to approach their school and ask permission, distribute flyers and hold a fundraiser that day. This will both raise awareness for Type 1 at a national level and raise money for the non-profit that runs the Friends for Life conference. There’s a short video of his speech here. He’s calling it the “Elbow Bump Challenge.”logan-and-flyer

When he was 3, Logan was also diagnosed with food allergies. According to his mother, “He learned to advocate for himself on the playground and school at a young age. He invented an ‘elbow bump’ when people asked him to shake hands, so he didn’t run the risk of a contact reaction if they ate nuts earlier.”

On October 22, 2016, Bobby Flay, from the Food Network, was at Mohegan Sun. Since Logan loves Bobby Flay, his parents took him to see him. Logan made his own sign to advertise his Hat Day and Bobby Flay called him up on stage and elbow bumped him! Logan gave him a flyer to help get the word out, and Bobby Flay said he would wear a hat that day!

Bobby Flay "elbow bumping" Logan

Bobby Flay “elbow bumping” Logan

Diabetes doesn’t slow Logan down. He has had an insulin pump since two months after diagnosis. The pump, which is a small device about the size of a small cellphone delivers basal insulin directly into the bloodstream 24 hours a day to keep blood glucose levels in range between meals and overnight. When you eat, you program the pump to give additional insulin, called a bolus. Along with Logan’s pump, he also has a Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor, which helps to fine tune his insulin basal rates to minimize highs and lows. According to his mother, “Logan has a lot of responsibility with his medical equipment, and he is always very careful and happy to explain or demonstrate to any kid or adult that asks questions.” He carries it around like other kids carry around a Kindle or a cellphone.

 Logan said, “After taking a brief rest from the marathon, I will think of other ways to fundraise for both organizations for next year and beyond.” His mother Samantha said, “Both organizations are so important to these kids and parents. JDRF provides funding to researchers which provides hope for kids for both new technologies to help manage the day to day aspects of the disease and potentially a cure down the line. Children with Diabetes helps mentor these kids and provide them with the relationships and environment they need to thrive. I’m truly thankful that I’m able to be involved and provide these experiences for my child which inspire him to help and maintain a positive attitude rather then dwell on the unfortunate fact that he has an incurable disease.”logan-elbow-bumping-at-the-conference
So wear a hat on November 14 to raise awareness for Type 1 diabetes, if you see one of Logan’s coin jars around town, drop a few coins in for a good cause, and if you see Logan, give him an elbow bump to say hello.
Previous article about Logan can be found here.
Photo credit for Bobby Flay: Khoi Ton for Mohegan Sun. Other photos by Samantha Merwin.

One Response to Living with Type 1 Diabetes in Haddam

  1. Pingback: Article in our local press about Logan! – elbowbumpchallenge