Fighting back against diabetes, Wynn’s Warriors team up

By Patrick McGee

Jared Behnke of University Park has always enjoyed fundraising for the Red Balloon Run & Ride, but he sometimes did not feel much of a connection to Children’s Medical Center.

That changed dramatically in 2012.

Video courtesy of Fox4 News at Fox4News.com.


His son, Wynn, then only 17 months old, was sick and losing weight. A blood test at a local pediatrician’s office showed incredibly high blood sugar levels.

“We saw the look on the nurse’s face, and we immediately knew something was wrong,” Mr. Behnke said. “It went from being very relaxed to being very strenuous in an instant.”

The toddler was rushed to Children’s intensive care unit by ambulance. Less than a week later, Wynn was released with a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, and his parents had a thick, three-ring binder on how to treat and monitor their son.

“After five days we left confident,” Mr. Behnke said. “Children’s did a phenomenal job of making us feel confident that we could take our son home, and that we could take care of him and deal with this.”

Wynn’s blood sugar levels are carefully recorded, and a monitor he often wears on his arm is connected by Bluetooth. Now 4, Wynn gets four insulin shots daily, in addition to the 10 to 15 finger pricks he has to have every day to test his blood.

“He’s a real trooper,” his dad said. “He doesn’t fuss because it’s routine for him.”

The family’s participation and fundraising for the Red Balloon Run & Ride, which takes place April 23 on the Children’s Medical Center Plano campus, is one way they give back to the hospital that saved their son’s life.

Mr. Behnke said he and his wife, Sallie, love supporting the Run & Ride because it allows them to designate to which area of the hospital the funds they raise benefit. The Wynn’s Warriors team supports endocrinology, and this year, they raised nearly $15,000 for that specialty.

Both Wynn and his 6-year-old brother, Will, love the Red Balloon Run & Ride. Wynn also likes trains, swimming and collecting rocks – all the stuff of normal boyhood.

“Without Children’s, Wynn wouldn’t be alive,” Mr. Behnke said. “There’s no question that the doctors and nurses at Children’s saved our son’s life.”

 

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