Angelo McGovern was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in December 2018.
At age 10, Angelo McGovern was rushed to the hospital with his mom.
“I was scared at first because I didn’t know what was going on,” he said.
“He was drinking water like crazy,” said Amanda McGovern, his mother.
“And I had to go to the bathroom a lot,” Angelo added.
Angelo was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Dec. 18, 2018.
His blood sugar level was at 460 that day.
“He is not really a complainer,” Amanda said about her oldest son. “It was just one of those things where I was just like, ‘Alright, it’s 8 a.m. and we’re down four water bottles.’ … It was just one of those times where I just went with my gut; something’s off.”
The McGovern family spent the next few months constantly alert. Three to four times every single night, Amanda or Jimmy McGovern (Angelo’s father) would get up and do a finger prick test on him to make sure his levels weren’t dropping too fast.
“It was sad at first, but then we’re just the kind of people who were just going to take it on,” Amanda McGovern said. “My biggest thing was, ‘I’m not going to let diabetes run us; We’re going to run diabetes.’ We’re just going to keep going.”
She said that Angelo’s been a real champ through the process. He’s even referred to as “mini Dad” around their Palm Coast home because he’s been so responsible with monitoring his glucose.
“I adjusted once I figured out how everything works and how insulin works and how to take my blood sugar and stuff like that,” said Angelo, who's now 11 years old.
Three months after the diagnosis, Angelo started using a Dexcom G6, a continuous glucose monitoring device, after his doctor asked if it’s something the family would consider getting.
“It was a big game-changer for us as parents because I don’t think we slept those first two months because of the unknown — how fast it could drop,” Amanda said. “You learn; I feel like I know him so much now. Obviously, diabetes is unpredictable, but I know him where I’ll know that if he goes to bed at a certain level, he’s probably going to hold.”
The Dexcom has helped ensure Angelo can still play on the Upward Basketball team in Palm Coast without having to constantly do finger prick tests, as the device reads his glucose levels through a sensor and transmits the results through an app.
Amanda McGovern said this way, mom, dad, grandparents and more can always know where his levels are at.
While Angelo has been homeschooled for the last few years, he still participates in extracurricular activities at Belle Terre Elementary School. He recently got a book published that he wrote and illustrated himself through his homeschool class: “Angelo’s Diabetes Story.”
“What inspired me to write the book is that I was really scared at first when I first got diagnosed with diabetes,” Angelo said. “I wrote the book to kind of say it’s not that scary once you figure it out. The shots and stuff can be scary at first, but then you get used to them.”
They took a copy of the book to Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville where he was diagnosed. He said he hopes other kids going through what he is can read it and be inspired.
“Angelo’s got a lot of will power,” Jimmy McGovern said. “He won’t let something dictate who he is. So, he wants to overcome everything.”