Somerset family joins JDRF One Walk in hopes of finding cure for Type 1 diabetes
When a child is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, life changes for the entire family.
It’s a huge responsibility for the parents and a very different life path for the child. But it’s a life made easier with the support of JDRF.
The Montepetit family from Somerset, Wisconsin, learned in the past few years that 4-year-old Leo Montepetit has Type 1 diabetes.
“He’s a good, good kid. He’s happy, and it’s just been a long two years,” Leo’s mother, Liz Montepetit, said.
Leo’s parents first noticed his symptoms when he was two years old.
“He wasn’t talking,” Liz Montepetit recalls. “Verbally, he wasn’t there. He wouldn’t play with me. He wouldn’t make eye contact. I felt like he was sleeping a lot.”
Then Leo started drinking a lot, not eating as much, and going through many more wet diapers. His parents were convinced something wasn’t right. Finally, an emergency room visit where his blood sugar levels were checked led to an ambulance ride to Children’s Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis.
“And that was the start of a whole new life. For Leo. For us as a family,” Liz Montepetit said. “You’re thrown into this whole new world of training and keeping your kid alive.”
Leo’s father, Brock Montepetit, acknowledges it’s a round-the-clock responsibility until Leo is old enough to care for himself.
“It’s an everyday, 24-hour-a-day constant watch until he’s really old enough to handle it by his self, which we don’t know when that will be,” Brock Montepetit said.
All of this felt so overwhelming in the beginning for the Montepetits, and they want other families who get this diagnosis to have hope.
“I don’t know if it gets easier, but you become more confident as a parent,” Liz Montepetit said.
Their goal by joining the JDRF One Walk with the support of their family business, Sam’s Christmas Village in Somerset, is to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.
“It starts with people like us, right, to go out there and raise money to try and find a cure,” Liz Montepetit said.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS anchors Kevin Doran and Lindsey Brown are co-hosting the JDRF One Walk Twin Cities on Saturday morning at TCO Stadium at Viking Lakes in Eagan.