BA Family Finds Unique Way To Monitor Son's Type 1 Diabetes
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - A Broken Arrow family has found a unique way to help their little boy, Eli, manage his Type 1 diabetes.
They've hired an Enid company, Heartland Diabetic Alert Dogs to train an alert dog that will let anyone around Eli know that he may need help.
In the middle of our interview with the Yokum family, Katie and Todd Yokum and brothers Jackson and Eli had to take a time out to take a blood sugar test. When you have Type 1 diabetes, managing it becomes part of the entire family's lifestyle.
The Yokums have a busy house, including their current dog, Molly. In about nine months they'll have a new member, Rhyder. Rhyder is being trained in Enid right now to be a diabetic alert dog.
After his training's complete, he'll be able to detect changes in Eli's glucose levels and alert someone.
"And the dog will be persistent. If we don't jump up the first time that he alerts, he's going to alert us again and again we go and check him," said Katie Yokum.
When Eli first displayed symptoms his parents were split on what to do.
"He had an unquenchable thirst. He just couldn't get enough to drink," said Katie Yokum.
"I was just kind of thinking 'Oh, we'll just wait it out a little bit. It's just kids being kids,'" said Todd Yokum.
Eli was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in March of 2015, and in the Yokums' followup research, they found out about diabetic alert dogs. '
After raising money to help train Rhyder, they're thankful they have another option in managing Eli's diabetes.
"Another tool to kind of help us sleep better night. While he's not around us...the worry's always there. Just kind of give us a little more peace of mind," said Todd Yokum.
The Yokums had to raise about $20,000 to train Rhyder because they found out insurance companies generally don't cover the cost of diabetic alert dogs.