Diabetes Day | He was so tired and thirsty and I knew something was wrong

Today is World Diabetes Day.

Several landmarks are marking the day by going blue, including the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie and the CN Tower in Toronto.

A Grimsby mother of three is sharing her story with CKTB following the diagnosis of her oldest son, Massimo.

Dina Bergshoeff says she was volunteering in Massimo's senior kindergarten classroom five years ago when she noticed he was tired, urinating a lot, and very thirsty.

Bergshoeff says something didn't sit quite right and she googled his symptoms.

While she was hoping he had a bladder infection, she knew deep down something else was going on.

She brought Massimo to a walk-in clinic the following day, and following bloodwork he was sent to McMaster Children's Hospital where he was immediately admitted.

He was officially diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and Bergshoeff says that's when their families 'new normal' started.

Bergshoeff, who knew nothing about diabetes, was in shock to find that her 5 year old boy needed several insulin shots daily, along with blood sugar checks to monitor levels.

Massimo, who is now 10 years old has an insulin pump, but still requires constant blood sugar checks.

The family is assisted by government funds and a drug plan to help pay for the added costs of insulin and test strips, but the family still pays $200/month out of pocket.

Massimo is very active and plays on Grimsby Minor Hockey's Major Atom travel team.

The team wears blue hockey laces, wraps their sticks with blue tape, and wears blue toques during the month of November to support "Momo".

To hear the interview on The VIP Late Lunch with Lee Sterry, click here.

Massimo takes part in Dskate every year which is a hockey program specifically created for children and their families who have type 1.  

Bergshoeff says her message to people who are not familiar with diabetes is to understand the disease, and spread awareness.

11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes, and every three minutes another Canadian is diagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, and fatal disease if left untreated, in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces.

Diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and kills the beta cells of the pancreas.

No, or very little, insulin is released into the body.

Five to ten percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

For more information click here.