Jack Sekel. Photo submitted

Castlegar fulfills family’s Christmas wish

Four year old to get device to manage his Type 1 diabetes

A four-year-old Castlegar boy is getting his Christmas wish thanks to the generosity of the community.

All Jack Sekel wanted for Christmas was a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to help manage his Type 1 diabetes.

Jack was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year. Since then, he and his family have been learning how to manage the disease and deal with the frequent finger pokes and injections.

Castlegar family in need of ‘Christmas miracle’ to treat 4 year old’s diabetes

Jack got an insulin pump recently, and now gets to skip the constant barrage of injections.

But when he eats, his parents still have to calculate the number of carbs in his food and then tell the pump how much insulin to administer. They also have to check his blood sugar levels every few hours using finger poke tests.

But the Sekel family’s lives are about to get a bit easier thanks to the addition of a CGM to their management arsenal. The CGM will allow Jack to skip the finger pokes, giving the whole family some peace of mind and some much-needed sleep.

The CGM continuously monitors blood sugar levels. It also analyzes trends and sends the data to a smart phone.

Jack’s diabetic management team has been recommending that he get the device, but neither the family’s insurance company nor the government would pay for it.

With a price tag of $7,000, the device was out of reach for the family of four — but that is where the community stepped in.

A GoFundMe campaign set up to buy the device raised the full amount in just four days.

Jack’s mom and dad, Haley and Joe Sekel, have responded with a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to their “friends, family and our wonderful community.”

“We don’t have the words to thank everyone for their generosity for Jack’s CGM,” they said. “We are overwhelmed with the kindness and willingness to give to our little boy.”

Haley was reluctant to even set up a fundraising campaign, as her real goal is to get the government and insurance companies to fund the devices.

She still plans to lobby the government for changes to their coverage policy.

“We hope it will help other people — these should be covered for everybody.”

The fundraising campain has now surpased the initial need for the device, but the sensors needed to keep using the CGM cost about $400 a month, so the family will be using the excess funds to cover the sensors.

“He will have such an easier life because of this. You’ve made his Christmas wish come true. We are forever grateful,” Haley said.


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