SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Approximately 3-million Americans have type 1 diabetes, and every year about 15,000 children are diagnosed with the disease.
But you wouldn’t be able to tell Carter Britt is one of them.
“I can do whatever a normal 11 year old would do,” said Carter.
“He’s a nice young man, he’s into swimming, wants to play lacrosse, he’s an accomplished little musician, plays drums, guitar and a few other things,” added his father Kris.
But in 2011, during a trip up to Atlanta with his family, Carter was constantly hungry and thirsty, and they had to make several stops for restroom breaks, the first signs that something was wrong.
“There’s this classic set of symptoms where, when you think of a type 1 diabetic, he fit the picture perfectly,” said Kris. “We just didn’t know it at the time.”
When Kris and Carter’s stepmother Natalie dropped him off with his mother and stepfather, Stacy and Andrew Pandya, Stacy decided it was time to go to the ER. She texted Natalie when they got the results.
“When he first got admitted his blood sugar was over 1,000 and the upper limit of normal is 120,” Natalie News 3.
Since then, Carter and his family have learned a lot about diabetes. He checks his own blood sugar numerous times every day, and wears an insulin pump on his upper arm.
“It is always something that he has to think about, he has the extra awareness of this device that’s on his body all of the time,” said Natalie.
“Managing it is as much an art as it is a science some days and your goal at the end of the day is to put as many tools in your tool belt, your diabetic tool belt to manage this disease,” added Kris.
That’s where Max comes in, a medical alert dog that can signal Carter when his blood sugar levels start to get too high or too low.
“We’ve had several parents tell us, just in the course of kind of doing the research for this dog that their kids wear the same
monitors and the dog will actually catch it before the monitor does,” said Kris.
But Max, who is currently being trained by a professional trainer in Texas, costs $18,000, a price tag the Britt’s told News 3 they could never afford alone.
You can donate to bringing Max home here.