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One family’s story caring for their children with type 1 diabetes

diabetesFamily members may share a set of values, a sense of humor, or various personality traits. And sometimes members of a family have a health condition in common. The recent Stanford Medicine Newsletter features a San Jose, Calif. family with five children - two of whom have type 1 diabetes and a third who has been identified as likely to develop it in the next two years. The Bergh family receives care for their children at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

From the piece:

Roughly 5 percent of families who have one child with diabetes will have a second child with the disease, but it’s unusual to have three, according to Bruce Buckingham, MD, professor of pediatric endocrinology at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and the School of Medicine.

Buckingham, who treats the Bergh children, assessed everyone in the family for the disease by testing for antibodies that can generally predict when a child is going to develop diabetes. Four months after Maleki got his diagnosis, Marae tested positive for the antibodies. She did not get the disease for five more years, but by then Tierra Bergh [the mom] knew what to do. After noticing that Marae was drinking and urinating excessively one weekend, she used her son’s glucose meter to test Marae’s glucose levels and immediately called Buckingham.

“I was devastated,” she recalled, “but Dr. Buckingham was very calm. He said, ‘You already know how to take care of a child with diabetes.’”

Previously: A tale of two Shelbys: The true story of two diabetes patients at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Tips for parents on recognizing and responding to type 1 diabetes
Photo courtesy of Bergh family


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