Drive for Miracles Radiothon
Setting a Record
All of this, because of you. On behalf of the children and families we serve, THANK YOU for making 2015 The Drive for Miracles Radiothon a true success. Better, brighter health care futures are being made possible thanks to your heartfelt generosity and support. Funds raised from the event are being used to enhance the programs, services, and medical care offered to patients and families at Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
Thank You to Our 2015 Sponsors!
93.3 The Drive
Bob Lindsay Acura
Bob Lindsay Honda
Illinois Principal's Association
Members Choice Credit Union
River Cup Foundation
Overcoming Obstacles: Small Child Thrives After Diagnosis
JT Polk was only two years old when his parents Matt and Barbara Polk felt that something was wrong.
The signs were there, though subtle at the time. “We were at his oldest sister’s soccer game and JT kept asking for drinks and going to the bathroom throughout the game. Nothing was super obvious, but I just had a mother’s intuition,” Barbara recalls.
Some of this is familiar territory for the active family of seven. Matt, JT’s father, has battled type 1 diabetes since childhood. In fact, it was their heightened awareness that led to the early detection and diagnosis of JT’s diabetes.
“We got out my glucometer when we got home and tested him,” Matt remembers. “The glucometer said too high to read. So we wiped his hands off, hoping he had sugar on them and tested again.” The Polks waited, praying anxiously; their hearts sinking when the same “too high to read” message appeared on Matt’s glucometer for a second time.
What followed would be the beginning of a journey to understand and manage JT’s condition. A trip to the ER, two days in the hospital, followed by a confirmed diagnosis of type 1 diabetes for JT led the Polk family to the Pediatric Diabetes Resource Center at Children’s Hospital of Illinois. It was there they began to work with the Registered Nurses as well as a Dietitian, Social Worker and Pediatric Endocrinologist to develop a diabetes self-management plan for JT.
The family, which includes JT’s older siblings Connor, Hailey and Makenna, worked with the PDRC to learn more about diabetes. Matt and Barbara made it a point to educate their other children; leaning on the staff and team of specialists they learned more than they ever could imagine.
“When we talked to the pediatric diabetes resource center we wanted to know how can we make this the new norm; so the other kids don’t feel like their whole world is turned upside down.”
Today Matt and Barbara are proud to report that JT’s siblings are his guardian angels. The children understand how to measure carbohydrates, take JT’s blood sugar, calculate his insulin needs and have become a huge safety net and support system for JT.
“They can tell if he’s not acting or feeling well and they know how to give him carbs when he needs them. They really watch out for him and JT is very lucky to have them,” Matt explains.
The Polks have turned a corner; most recently working with the PDRC to get JT an insulin pump that drastically reduces the number of sticks for JT and delivers predictable rapid-acting insulin. As he grows, JT is beginning to understand when he doesn’t feel right and can communicate that in his own sweet little ways.
Now almost two years later, JT is a compassionate and caring older brother to Landon, Matt and Barbara’s 5 month old boy. Like other four year olds JT is fun loving and filled with energy. Thanks to the help of his loving family, the Pediatric Diabetic Resource Center, and continued advances in diabetic research, he is managing his diabetes and living life to the fullest.