A lot of times I think back, and I think back comparing season one to where we’re at now, season 12. And I remember in season one, we were just beginning to talk to all of you our viewers about diabetes, and what does diabetes mean, what does it do to the body when you have highly elevated blood glucose levels? Here’s the reality. So many people are living with type 1 diabetes. Let’s rewind back all the way to season one, almost 12 years ago, when we profiled how diabetes impacted a member of our family, Executive Producer Carla Pennington and her son, Jackson. (somber music) Jackson was two-and-half-years-old and I got the phone call from his pediatrician. And they said, “You have to meet him “at Children’s Hospital. “He has diabetes.” I was in shock. I said, “That can’t be right.” (dramatic music) We were there are Children’s Hospital, they were trying to explain what diabetes is and how it works. I was having to give him shots, I was having to prick his finger and make it bleed, and the whole time pretend like everything’s fine. As his mother, it was hard for me because I was viewing it as hurting him. I tried to get him to eat healthy, but a lot of times he’ll want that sugared cereal. Hey, Mommy, what’s for breakfast? I sometimes try to sneak stuff, but (snickers) they always catch me. I wish I didn’t have diabetes because I have to do so much. I really just wanna get out and play. The biggest part of Jackson’s treatment is the constant monitoring of his blood sugar. That’s the thing about diabetes. It’s such a delicate balancing act between what’s my blood sugar level, how much insulin do I give? It’s a constant battle. It’s very confusing. There’s no exact science. That’s what’s frustrating. You know, because sometimes you can do exactly what you did the day before and his blood sugar will be high or low. But now there’s actually a state of the art pump with a monitor that sends blood sugar levels to the pump to potentially make living with diabetes easier. The pump is gonna to be giving you insulin all the time and you don’t hardly feel it at all. So you’re eliminating not just the shots, but also the finger pokes. Show us how small that needle is. Oh, that’s not bad at all. Whoa, see that? That’s tiny. Yeah, it’s tiny. That’s not too bad, right, Jackson? Yeah. So Jackson, you may be willing to give that a try, right? Yeah. Alrighty. (cheering) That was Jackson, the son of Executive Producer Carla Pennington. 11 years ago, he was a kid learning how to navigate a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. He joins us now via Skype for a doctor’s checkup. Wow.
Whoa. Checkup all the way from college. Hey. Welcome, Jackson. (clapping) It’s so great to see you. How are you? (clapping) How’s college? Honestly, it’s been going really well. I’m a sophomore at Babson College which is in Wellesley, Massachusetts. I’m a member of the men’s varsity tennis team. I’m also in a acapella singing group, which I just picked up recently. Amazing.
Nice. You know, Jackson, it literally seems in some ways like yesterday that you were here on this stage learning about diabetes. Here you are, you’re a young man, you’re in college, you’re doing all these great things, we heard that you were even class president in high school. How have you been doing, especially when it comes to your diabetes? I’ve been doing pretty well. My A1C has been phenomenal since around my, I’d say, my junior year of high school, and that’s because I got, I’ve been utilizing the pump as well as the sensor, and the sensor really allows you to control numbers over nighttime. So that’s been a really big plus for me. And, it’s been really good.