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Dylan's Essay

When Brian and I were married almost 8 years ago, I inherited a nephew.  He had just turn 6 at the time.  Cutest kid you can imagine.  He was the ring bearer at our wedding.  When you looked at Dylan you couldn't help but smile.  There he was in that big church, a small boy wearing a tux, and walking with a limp. 

You see, when Dylan was 6 years old he was diagnosed with  Legg Calve Perthes Disease.  Its a rare disease that occurs when the ball of the thighbone in the hip doesn't get enough blood, causing the bone to die.  Over the years, Dylan has suffered from this painful and debilitating disease which eventually led to him having surgery in May 2009.  He had to give up a lot.  He was not able to play some of the sports that he desperately wanted to. He never knew when he was going to get up and have his leg lock up on him.  He and his parents constantly had to think about his activity level and whether or not he was going to pay tomorrow for having a bit of fun today.

Today, Dylan's leg still gives him a twinge now and then, but for the most part he is completely healed.  The surgery did its job and Dylan is your typical teenager.

But is he?  I would like to share with you, as a guest post the entrance essay that Dylan wrote for the high school he is applying for.  As part of the application process he had the choice of 3 different essay questions.  The one he chose to respond to was "Describe a person that has been inspirational in your life".  I hope you enjoy reading Dylan's essay as much as I did:

(To conform with the privacy policy of my blog, I have changed the essay to show my son's first name as Sugar Boy.)

The person who has been most inspirational to me is my cousin Sugar Boy.  Some people might find this surprising, due to the fact that Sugar Boy is only four years old. However, age does not matter when it comes to inspiring or motivating others, and my little cousin is a great example of this.

When he was just two years of age, Sugar Boy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  From that moment on, his life was affected.  His daily life changed from being a normal little boy, to having multiple daily finger pricks, restrictions on what he can and cannot eat and having someone constantly watching over him.  From the beginning, he had to deal with both physical and emotional pain, but he made it through each and every day with a smile.  I admire him greatly for being able to make it through the difficult times of being a diabetic.

Sugar Boy is now four years old and has an insulin pump, but still requires many pokes and prods each day.  He requires a lot of extra care, and I try to help out whenever I can.  I am always on alert for something unusual when I am around him.  When I am with him, I feel like his life is in my hands.  It is a very big feeling of responsibility.

Sugar Boy’s entire life, as well as our whole family, has been impacted by this horrible disease and we have all been inspired to help find a cure.   There is a lot of research being done, and we continue to pray and participate in many events to raise money to help children like Sugar Boy, and to find a cure for this disease.  Sugar Boy has inspired me to do as much as I can to help every person like him.  He has taught me that it is possible to live with a disease like this and still have a good attitude.  I believe that if a four year old can deal with the emotional and physical pain of having Type 1 Diabetes, I can overcome anything with the right attitude and the help of God, family and friends.

Along with inspiring me with his attitude, and inspiring my family to help find a cure for Diabetes, Sugar Boy has also taught me the greatest lesson of all: never lose hope.  He is always a fun, rowdy little boy, despite his condition.  Even though he is only four years old, he has been a big inspiration in my life.  When times get hard and even when he is in pain, he pushes through and never gives up hope.  He shows us all that with hope, we can get though anything.
Typical teenager?  I think not.

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