Keith Schwanz

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This article was written on 07 Aug 2017, and is filed under Family.

Best-Day-EVER

Yesterday was pure bliss for a nine-year-old baseball fan. Oliver and Karla had tickets for a Royals game a couple of months ago, the annual son/mother outing with friends from school. But that game rained-out so they got tickets for yesterday’s game with the Mariners. Rain postponed the ballgame the day before yesterday, so Oliver got to see a doubleheader yesterday. That, and stadium eats, put this into contention as the best-day-EVER.

The only thing better than watching baseball is playing baseball. The hiatus between spring ball and fall ball for Oliver is about ten days. Fall ball practices started mid-summer and games start next week. If he isn’t on the field with his friends, he’s in the backyard tossing the ball with whoever is nearby. In church a week ago, during the sermon, I saw him do a little swing–hands together like he was holding a bat, the gentle swing going from the right knee to the left. “Did you get a hit?” I whispered. He smiled and nodded. I suspect he played an entire world series game during the sermon.

A boy with type 1 diabetes can fully participate in things like baseball, but it requires a heightened awareness. The photo shows Karla adjusting the basal rate in the insulin pump before a recent game. Stress sometimes elevates the glucose, but physical activity can burn it up–it’s a challenge to find the necessary balance. And what works in one game may not work in the next. At times during spring ball, Grant (father and coach) took a package of fruit snacks to the pitcher’s mound because Oliver’s sugar level had dropped and he needed to eat something before he could continue playing ball. Life for a person with T1D requires a consistent consciousness of things most people never think about. Sometimes this Papa is the one who watches and checks to make sure Oliver is doing well.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is working diligently to find a solution for T1D. In September, once again Team Jolly Ollie will walk in a JDRF fundraiser. I invite you to join Team Jolly Ollie, for the sake of all of the Olivers in this world. Together we can do what none of us could accomplish alone. Please make a contribution. Thanks.

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