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Braden


Diagnosis: February 6, 2017

Braden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of 10. “It was the day after the Patriot’s won the Superbowl,” said his mother Kristen. “We figured he was just tired.” With a 694 blood sugar and high ketones, her son ended up in the ER, and was later sent upstairs to the ICU. She's very grateful to his UMass Memorial Pediatric Diabetes Care Team.

After a frightening, overwhelming and educational three days at UMass, Braden was back on the basketball court two days later. “The nurses, educators, social workers, child life specialist and Dr. Angelescu are such a concrete team,” said Kristen. “We were afraid to go home, but they encouraged him to play his scheduled playoff game and to live a normal life.”   

Successfully Managing Type 1 Diabetes 

Two years later, Braden was using an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and his maintained an A1c around 7%. At first, he was afraid of “being different” and didn’t want others at school to see his tubing and/or “beep in class.” With the help of his care team, he became comfortable and confident managing his diabetes. He considers his pump and CGM a part of him and wears them freely in front of others. 

Braden plays baseball, football, basketball and golf.  Each sport affects his blood sugar differently, and he’s learned how to manage the various situations. 

Giving Back

On his first diaversary, Braden decided to pack and donate bags for children who are hospitalized with a new diabetes diagnosis. They were filled with coloring books and crayons, legos, cars, calculators, measuring cups and books. He included a letter that read "You can do anything you want in life. You're a #Type1Diabetes warrior too!"

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Braden remembers being bored and having nothing to do besides watch TV when he was in the hospital. A little over a month after returning home, he received the JDRF Bag of Hope, with information & supplies and Rufus, the Bear with Diabetes®. “I wish I had that stuff when I was in the hospital,” he said. “So I decided to put these bags together for other kids to enjoy while they're still there.”  

It's become a diaversary tradition. One of the recipients of his T1D Warrior Bags has since taken Braden's lead and does the same thing on his diaversary. That then inspired a third boy to do the same. In March of 2021, during the coronavirus pandemic, Braden delivered a dozen bags for his 4th diaversary. 

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Related Story: Paying it Forward: T1D Warrior Bags

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