Our son is a quarter of a century old. There were times in his life when we were not sure we would get to this point of celebration. We are well aware that 50 years go people with cerebral palsy had shorter life spans. Then, we almost lost Phillip when he developed Type I Diabetes at age 15. The cerebral palsy masked the symptoms of diabetes. But today, Phillip is full of joy, spunk and good health.
Despite the huge cake that appeared as a part of his birthday celebration, rarely does he eat such desserts. It’s not that he restricts it from his diet, it’s just that he eats so well for a young man, that his body just does not crave extreme sweets, except for the occasional celebration. Our 30-year-old daughter too shies away from cake and sugary choices.
When Phillip was first diagnosed with cerebral palsy, I made a conscious effort to choose better food. I tried to buy organic and local whenever possible. We learned to eat beans, rice and all sorts of vegetables. We were shocked when Phillip developed Type I Diabetes, because he was thin and ate healthy choices. But then we quickly learned Type I has nothing to do with weight nor sweets, but genetic preconditions and a virus. Nor did it have anything to do with his cerebral palsy.
The endocrinologist in the emergency room told us, “Phillip is just another kid who happened to come down with Type I Diabetes.”
After getting through the initial shock of dealing with Type I, we promised Phillip we would do whatever we could together to help him grow and live a healthy life full of joy and promise. He has triumphed. That is worth celebrating.