Two years ago, Brooke Yost was a normal, spunky 5-year-old attending in Oakville. And then one night, everything changed.
Brooke’s mom, Deb, and dad, Mark, had no one in their family with Type 1 diabetes, so they didn't know to look out for anything particular. Life was going about as normal.
“The Saturday before Halloween she wet her bed. Later that night she wet her bed again, and it was excessive,” Deb said “She went to the bathroom and gulped a whole glass of water. The next day she was still drinking a lot.”
By Monday morning, the Yost’s took Brooke to the doctor, thinking she may have had a bladder infection. Before they knew it they were packing their bags for a stay at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
“Her blood sugar was so high on that Monday that she wasn’t registering on the doctor’s meters. (We found out that) frequent urination is the only way for the body to let it out,” Deb said. “She almost had a seizure sitting right in front of us which is extremely scary."
Now an 8-year-old at Wohlwend, Brooke’s teachers had to be trained and she and her pink and black backpack have to go everywhere with a buddy.
“They have been phenomenal,” Deb said. “It’s just hard because I think the teachers are responsible for 20-some kids in a room—it’s a lot to handle and to know the signs. Everybody knows that Brooke can’t be anywhere without that backpack.”
Deb also visited the school and explained to the students in circle time about how Brooke has to take shots and how she can’t share snacks with anyone.
“We are very creative here and I plan all the menus in advance—we shop together and know what’s on the menu,” Deb said.
Even though the Type 1 diabetes diagnosis was a complete shock to the family, they certainly haven’t let it get them down. In fact, after forming “Team Brooke,” for the , things could never be brighter.
Members of the team just received the JDRF award for the highest dollar amount raised for the Walk to Cure Diabetes by a returning family. This year the walk was in Forest Park, and Team Brooke raised more than $14,000. Almost 100 walkers participated for the team.
More than 250 people gathered at the in late January for the JDRF Annual Walk Awards Celebration. To date, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 Billion to T1D research efforts that have helped or significantly improved the care of people with insulin dependent diabetes until a cure is found.
Deb knew when she decided to link up with JDRF that she needed a support system. There was another girl in Brooke’s class with diabetes, so Deb asked the family for more ways to get involved.
“I’m all about ‘Do something,’” Deb said. “If you don’t do something, who’s going to? Now I’m in a position where I can help. There is no pity party in the Yost family.”