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That’s how their parents learned both boys have markers for type 1 diabetes in their blood, signaling an increased risk for the disease. And that’s how they and their parents decided to join an oral insulin study to try to prevent or delay onset. “If it can help prevent it for them, and for other children in the future, then it’s worth it,” their mother, Bobbi Goodfellow, said. “It doesn’t hurt, and it might help.”
“If there’s a history of diabetes in your family, why wouldn’t you want to be close to the people who are learning the most about it?” their father, Aaron Goodfellow, added.
Aaron’s younger brother has had type 1 diabetes since he was a child, and it was their mother, Shelley Goodfellow, who got the family organized to receive the free blood tests. “I wanted to do whatever we could,” she said. So she rounded up her kids, grandkids, and other members of the family—18 in all! “Anything to stop it,” she said. “It makes me want to turn cartwheels that they can get the help here. I’m really grateful to Humphreys for participating in this study.”
Still, Shelley never dreamed that two of her grandchildren would come up as positive for risk of the disease. Dillon has two markers and Wilson has four. “It was scary and shocking at first,” Bobbi said. But they all agree it’s better to know. “I can educate myself more and know what to look for.”
Dillon and Wilson seem to think the blood tests are no big deal. And they don’t mind taking the insulin gel capsules every morning. If their mom forgets, they remind her.
Dillon is busy with school. He also likes to draw and play Minecraft (a computer-based world of building blocks). Wilson loves to jump on the trampoline and play spies with his sister. The whole family plays baseball. They practically live at the ball field in Middleton every spring and summer.
Their parents see no difference in the boys, for better or worse, since they began taking part in the insulin study. That’s the beauty of participating, Aaron said. “They’re just kids—without diabetes.”
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