gets best birthday present ever
Giving birth to twin boys was one
of the greatest achievements in the life of Leann Franklin of
Holton. That was six years ago. The journey of getting them to
kindergarten was another monumental achievement.
The twins, Trenton and Tanner, were diagnosed with diabetes just
eleven days before their first birthday. This event changed the
lives of their parents, Leann and Tony, forever.
The young parents monitored their twins every move consuming
every moment they had until last June 11, when the boys got their
Animas Insulin Pumps. It was Leanns birthday and she said,
the pumps were the best birthday present ever.
The pumps changed the way of life for the Franklin family, especially
the two it more directly affected, Trenton and Tanner. No longer
do they have to get four shots a day. Now its only the equivalent
to one shot every three days, when the extra, extra fine needle
is inserted into their bellies. A small tube runs from the pump,
which they wear around their middles much like a cell phone, into
the needle and automatically releases insulin every three minutes.
The boys are matter of fact about their pumps. They wear them
around their middles with little stylish pouches that range from
Sponge-Bob Square Pants to camouflage. The pouches were made by
their aunt, Rhonda Carter, who is in the military now. The pumps
are waterproof, which is a good thing since theyve already
had to replace one, according to Leann. The Franklins' insurance
will pay for a pump for each of the boys every four years and
as they are $7,000 apiece, Tony says theyve got to last
for at least four years!
The Franklins explained the pumps are high tech and calibrate
the twins needs for insulin according to what theyre
doing. And theyre doing a lot. Theyre 100% boy!
Leann noted. And thats how she wants it to be. I dont
want them to be different from anyone else, Leann said.
The pumps have allowed them to jump on the trampoline, wrestle,
and run and play like any other child their age without the fear
of a diabetic reaction that could literally take their lives.
When first diagnosed, it might have been an overwhelming task
for some. But, Leann said she never thought twice about what they
had to do. We just did it, both Tony and Leann agreed.
While the pumps have alleviated a lot of stress for the parents,
they still know the boys must be monitored. Leann said, Whatever
we do now will affect their future health. She noted that
uncontrolled diabetes affects major organs and most every part
of the body.
Their first year of school was another hurdle they have almost
successfully completed. The nurse is the greatest, I dont
know what I would do without her, Leann shared of South
Ripley Elementary School Nurse Mary Krumm. She calls me
everyday and gives a report on their blood sugar, she noted.
The nurse, and teacher, Ann Dicken, has joined forces with the
Franklin parents to ensure their boys have the best care possible.
The nurse knows the blood sugar count can even affect their ride
home from school. Some days they ride to a babysitters,
making the commute about 20 minutes longer than when they ride
home. That 20 minutes could make a difference if they are running
low on insulin, according to their mother. So, the nurse will
give them a snack if they are at a certain level.
The teacher watches the snacks and treats they get at school,
too. Trenton and Tanner also know what they can have, according
to their mother.
While the pumps have changed their lives dramatically, they still
take an extra amount of care than children without diabetes. They
still have to measure all their food, take into consideration
their caloric intake and output and get their little fingers poked
six to 10 times a day.
The Franklins also have another child, a little girl, Lila, who
will be three in July. So far so good - she shows no signs of
having diabetes, according to Leann. The parents still have her
tested as suggested by pediatricians.
Saying their lives revolve around the boys and their diabetes,
the Franklin family are strong advocates to find a cure for diabetes.
They will be participating in their third diabetes walk next weekend
at Holiday World. They have raised over $600. The money is to
raise awareness about juvenile or Type I diabetes and hopefully
someday find a cure. You can go online to learn more about their
efforts or make a donation at: jdrf.org, click on team TNT. You
can also send a check directly to the Franklins at: 1852 N County
Rd. 850 W., Holton, IN 47023.
The Franklins are a busy family with both parents working outside
the home and Tony being the Fire Chief of the Holton Volunteer
Fire Department. But, nothing stops them when taking extra time
to care for their children or help others cope with having a child
with diabetes. They belong to a support group that meets at Greensburg
and are willing to talk about their experience in hopes of helping
other parents who are coping with the same issues.
It's a family affair for the Franklins of Holton as they
work together to bring awareness and find a cure for Type
I or juvenile diabetes. Twin sons, Trenton and Tanner, pictured
atop the play set both were diagnosed just 11 days before
their first birthday. Their dad, Tony, left and mother Leann,
right, says their whole world changed with that diagnosis.
So far, little sister, Lila, 3, pictured in the center,
has dodged the disease.
Pictured are identical twins, Tanner, left, and Trenton
Franklin, age 6, of Holton. They are showing off their insulin
pumps they received last June 11, on their mother's birthday.
She said it was "the best birthday present ever."
This little gadget has changed the way the Franklins live.