Glucose monitoring technology ‘life or death’ for type 1 diabetes

Like every other kid nowadays, Ava Everson loves her gadgets. But not for their entertainment value.

To the eight-year-old Niagara Falls girl, the gadgets she wears and holds can be life-saving technology.

Ava has type 1 diabetes, a chronic, dangerous disease that can cause wild swings in blood glucose levels that require constant vigilance for both her and her parents.

They’ve joined a push by other families living with it to convince the provincial government to cover newer technology that monitors blood glucose levels under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

With type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks the pancreas, which produces insulin that allows the body to use sugar from food for energy. Insulin also keeps blood sugar from getting too high or too low.

Ava wears an insulin pump, but also wears a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device known as a Dexcom, which sends an alert to watches that Ava and her parents wear if glucose levels become too high or too low.

The device costs thousands of dollars a year, but luckily the family has employment insurance that covers it. Other families aren’t so lucky.

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