his is no ordinary story of a boy and his dog. This is the story of how an incredibly smart, well trained and loving dog, dedicates every moment of his day to save his buddy Luke, a young boy diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. These two go everywhere together. They play at home, visit friends houses, go shopping and even to school together. That’s because Jedi is Luke’s Diabetic Alert Dog.
Jedi has been trained to sense when Luke’s blood sugar levels drop or rise outside of a normal range (between 70 and 120). If this happens, then Luke is in danger of slipping into a coma, having a seizure or even death.
uke is unaware when his levels are abnormal. This means his family needs to check his blood every 2 – 3 hours, even when he is sleeping. But in the moments when his parents can’t check, Jedi is there to monitor Luke and alert the parents when Luke’s blood sugar levels need checking.
This can be especially dangerous when sleeping. Currently, every 1 in 20 people with Type 1 Diabetes dies in their sleep. So Jedi is there as an extra line of defense against this very serious disease which threatens Luke’s life at every moment of the day.
So how exactly does Jedi do this? Jedi has been trained for years to detect a particular smell when a person’s blood levels drop too low or too high. When Jedi notices that Luke’s levels are too high, he will run to the parents and stand up tall. Just like in this photo. This is what it looks like when Jedi alerts Luke’s mother when she is sleeping. There is no way to sleep through that!
If Luke’s blood sugar levels are too low, then Jedi will lye down. The parents are then alerted to go and test Luke’s blood and provide him with much-needed sugar. But more than anything, Jedi is there to be by Luke’s side. To comfort Luke during his traumatizing medical tests and operations. To be with him when he is scared. To show him that he is not alone fighting this disease.
As a way to spread the news about this disease, Luke’s parents have decided to create a Facebook page and website to share their story and open up the dialogue about Type 1 Diabetes. Most people connect Diabetes to obese people who don’t take care of themselves. But this type of Diabetes can affect anyone at any point in their lives.
This disease is a very serious illness and those that suffer have to change every aspect of their lives in order to stay alive. Every day becomes about surviving.
As Luke grows up, he will have to eventually learn how to take care of himself. There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes, which means this is a disease for life.
Luke and Jedi just want to let the world know about this life-threatening disease and remove the stigma associated with it. If more people understand the disease, then more research will be dedicated to finding a cure.
But until then, Luke and Jedi will keep fighting, just like they do in Star Wars.