“Cooper set the state record for being the first reported case of type 1 diabetes before age one”
At a mere three months old, Cooper became very sick and appeared more tired than most infants. His abnormal behavior combined with his mystery illness gave his parents cause for concern. When Cooper turned five months old, they took him to the doctor for what they believed was pneumonia. During his examination, the pediatrician noticed Cooper’s oddly sweet breath and decided to check his blood sugar levels. Cooper’s levels were so high that the machine couldn’t even read the exact number, only signaling that it was off the charts. That information alone was enough for the doctor to direct Cooper’s family straight to the hospital for further testing. There, his blood glucose levels registered as an alarming 1250. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that the age-specific blood sugar goal range for children under the age of six be between 100-180 before meals and 110-200 at bedtime. Cooper’s wildly high blood glucose levels indicated that he suffered from type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar to enter the cells to produce energy.
Cooper was reportedly the youngest child ever in his home state of Kansas to receive this diagnosis. At the hospital, doctors raced to hydrate him with plenty of IV fluids and bottles of Pedialyte. With a series of steady insulin shots, they were slowly able to bring his blood sugar back down to a normal level. The following five days were critical as Cooper’s doctors monitored his progress, and his parents learned all about his illness. They got a crash-course in how to treat their baby’s life-threatening condition. Now five years old, Cooper takes long-acting insulin and fast-acting “mealtime” insulin that ensures that his food doesn’t raise his glucose levels too high. His family diligently checks his blood sugar ever two hours and relies on a Dexcom CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) device to help manage Cooper’s diabetes. The Dexcom provides real-time glucose readings throughout the day and night, allowing users to see their glucose levels and track how quickly they’re increasing or decreasing. A typical CGM provides up to as many as 288 glucose readings per day (once every five minutes).
Described by his parents as a “ham,” Cooper treats everyone he meets like they are his new best friends. His interests include superheroes, Legos, Star Wars and Jurassic World.
Kids Wish Network is hard at work planning a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Cooper; make sure to stay up to date by checking back soon for all of the fun details of his spectacular wish!