Eric is energetic and loving. He especially enjoys spending time outdoors with his parents and sister.
On a family camping trip when he was 8, Eric became tired, nauseated, and broke out into a rash from bug bites—or so they thought. When his symptoms persisted, a trip to his pediatrician and an extra test by a diligent nurse led to Eric heading to CHEO’s Emergency Department and a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.
Eric’s parents—Mom, Kelly, and Dad, Jason—speak highly about the care that Eric received at CHEO, including the resources and training through the diabetes clinic. His parents are especially grateful for the help from a CHEO nurse who came to their home twice a day to give Eric his first injections.
It’s typical for diabetes patients to receive injections, but it can be stressful for parents and kids to administer needles multiple times a day. Eric hated the needles and his parents had to hold him down.
To get comfortable injecting their son, his parents even practised on each other. But they also wanted Eric to understand that this was his disease to manage. With the help of CHEO staff who shared life-saving medical information with Eric, his parents emphasized how he needed to take ownership of his condition.
Today, Eric is open about his testing and injection process. His school friends are now educated on his condition and ask daily about his sugar level. Eric also helps his school understand what students with diabetes need to be healthy and supported.
While Eric has a naturally positive outlook, he also sees the realities of diabetes—an autoimmune disease that comes on gradually in children—clearly. He talks about how it’s with him “every moment of every day”: the blood testing, the carb counting, the ups and downs, his advocacy for other kids like him, and the hope that one day there will be a cure.
He says the experience inspires him to pursue a career as a diabetes educator and counsellor. Meanwhile, he is also focused on just being a teen and is currently pursuing his driver’s licence.
Eric recently had a new adventure at CHEO after a ruptured globe in his right eye and lacerated cornea. Four months, four surgeries, daily visits to CHEO Ophthalmology and many eye drops later, his vision is now restored. He has a new intraocular lens and can see 20/20, which he says, “is better sight than I had before!”
In classic Eric fashion, he’s all about the positive, including his experience at CHEO.
Providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time for children like Eric requires highly trained and compassionate health-care professionals, precise diagnoses, effective treatment and care, and ensuring their families feel seen, heard, and empowered. Thank you to our corporate partners who make this possible by providing support through foundations such as the CHEO Foundation.
Sign up for our newsletterJoin