Amy Buchanan is the provincial silver medallist for bowling in the 12 and under category. She loves sports and has many different hobbies – photography, basketball, golf and volleyball – and she loves to travel. But all of these activities present a daily challenge because Amy has diabetes.
July 13, 2013, marked Amy Buchanan’s 10th anniversary of living with diabetes. The active, vivacious girl was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just a year old; at the time, even the doctors were shocked that a child as young as Amy could have diabetes.
Since her diagnosis Amy has been under the careful watch of caregivers at BC Children’s Hospital and, at home, her parents Angela and Brad, who have become experts in diabetes care over the years. With help from BC Children’s caregivers, the family has learned the best ways to manage Amy’s medical condition while she does the activities she loves.
“We are managing her care day to day, week to week, month to month and year to year, but always in the back of mind is the hope that we and, more importantly, Amy will not have to do this forever,” says Angela. “I feel it is my job as her mother to keep her healthy and strong for the day that a cure is found.”
Every day Amy carries a pump and a continuous glucose monitor to track her blood sugar level. She visits her pediatrician in Kelowna, as well as specialists at BC Children’s Hospital, every six months. Angela believes this team approach – seeing a local health professional who is current with Amy’s medical situation together with the specialized expertise of BC Children’s doctors – provides Amy with the best care possible.
While Amy is able to do a lot of activities, her diabetes does demand constant monitoring and management – two of the biggest challenges that diabetes brings, in Angela’s eyes. Angela is hopeful that research into childhood diabetes will give Amy the gift that one day, she can live freely without having to worry about her medical challenges.
“Without the research there is no hope for a cure,” says Angela. “Without hope, this disease would be overwhelming. The research means more than I could ever explain.”