Overcoming Highs and Lows

When Mitchel was only four years old, he began not feeling well. His parents noticed he was thirsty all the time and having to go to the bathroom every 10 to 15 minutes. He was crabby, often mad and irritable. After noticing that something wasn’t right, his Mom took him to the Watertown Hospital Emergency Room where they discovered that he had type 1 juvenile diabetes. His blood sugar was so high they were surprised he wasn’t in a coma or having seizures.

After a few days in the hospital, Mitchel was allowed to go home—but things haven’t been the same since. Looking at him now — a happy, energetic, fun-loving kid — you’d never know that his life is far from normal. Mitchel and his family are grateful to the doctors and nurses at UW Health Partners in Lake Mills and Johnson Creek. Tomorrow’s Hope provides funding for programs that help families like the Langholffs to assist the people they love and focus on the future.

Without regular injections of insulin, Mitchel would not survive. This means that his blood sugar must be monitored (with a finger poke which feels like a paper cut) every 1-1/2 to 2 hours, round the clock, every day. To stay healthy, his daily routine is on a constant schedule with almost military. He has breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, finger pokes and insulin shots within a half-hour deviation each day.

Today, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Without a medical breakthrough, Mitchel will be insulin dependent for life. And although he doesn’t fully understand what all of this means, he does know that sometimes he has to eat when he doesn’t want to, and can’t eat sometimes when he’s hungry. He can’t have treats with his friends, and has to wake up at night to drink juice when all he wants to do is sleep. He and his family hopes that he doesn’t develop complications associated with the disease—thing like kidney disease, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage.

Although every day is a struggle, Mitchel and his family make the most out of each and every day. This past summer, Mitchel was invited to be the torch bearer during the “Ride With a Buddy” portion of the Tommorrow’s Hope Walk Fest fundraiser. He thought riding on the back of a Harley was pretty exciting, and the entire family enjoyed all the fun activities at the event. And when he’s not riding a motorcycle, he loves going swimming, fishing, riding his bike and scooter just like other normal 5-year-olds.


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