Walk set to raise awareness for junior diabetes

By Lia

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - Tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with diabetes each year. A walk planned for this weekend aims to raise awareness and money for research.

A Mount Pleasant family shares what the diagnosis means to them.

Thirteen-year-old Burke Mounts shares more in common with his younger brother Gus than knowing how to throw a good pass.

"In some ways, I kind of knew it might happen, but I was just kind of sad when I found out," said Burke Mounts.

Gus Mounts was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a little more than a week ago -- on his 11th birthday -- which is the same age Burke Mounts found out he was diabetic.

"Right around the time Gus Mounts was turning 11, he, like Burke, started going to the bathroom a lot, started drinking a lot," said Bethany Mounts, the boys' mother. "One day I just said, 'I need to test your blood sugar. We had an extra meter and we tested and it was high -- and my heart sank."

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease in which a person's pancreas loses the ability to produce insulin, a hormone essential in digestion. Brian and Bethany Mounts knew little about carb-counting, drawing insulin and giving injections.

"I just assumed it was something that kids got, but something they would eventually grow out of it. And it was not until Burke was diagnosed that I realized it was something it would be with him for the rest of his life," Bethany Mounts said.

What was overwhelming at first has become habit and easier to deal with a second time.

"When blood sugars are low, it's an around the clock thing," she said.

"I would think it's part of my life. You get used to it. It's not that fun," Gus Mounts said.

"I had it for three years, so it's become a routine. Testing has become a habit," said Burke Mounts.

The Mounts are realizing diabetes is a part of their family, but not defining it.

The Charleston Walk to Cure Diabetes will be held this Sunday at Smythe Park on Daniel Island. Registration is at 1 p.m. with the walk following an hour later.

For more information, visit their website by clicking here.