Y Story: For the Love of Family

By: Diana Candamil | Monday, February 17, 2020 | Our Cause

Ethan Castano

On Labor Day weekend in 2018, our family's life changed forever.

Ethan was vomiting and peeing through every diaper for weeks before I found him almost unresponsive on a Sunday. Ethan spent some time in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life threatening condition that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. It can lead to a coma and/or death if not treated immediately. A normal blood glucose level in a non-diabetic child should stay between 80-180 mg/dL, and Ethan had a blood level of 563. He was officially diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on September 3, 2018.

We almost lost our little boy, but God gave us another chance with him. I wish I could say that our struggles ended there. but that would be a huge lie. I took a month off work and needed to return, but had no childcare. I was rejected by at least 8 daycares because having a diabetic child was a liability. After an exhaustive search, the YMCA opened up its doors with open arms. The staff was willing to take on a huge responsibility and offered to be trained to take care of Ethan.

The progress he has made is ENORMOUS! After one year in, we have all learned to monitor his blood, count the carbohydrates in his food and calculate how much insulin he needs to have with his meals several times a day. Even after being poked with needle after needle, my little boy never ceases to smile. His courage is so admirable. In one year, I have seen a tremendous improvement to his health and I know that the best is yet to come.

This will never be easy but we will NEVER stop fighting for our son and will continue to learn all that we can about how to care for him. We are so thankful for all the staff and how much they love Ethan. Without the YMCA and all their support, Ethan would not be where he is now.


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