A MUST listen to episode – this is a story you need to hear!

Diagnosed as having Type 1 Diabetes at just 3 years old, today’s guest Brandon Mouw, shares his incredible and inspirational story. 


Imagine maintaining the most incredible control of your Diabetes and your blood sugars for years only to then develop brittle Diabetes, Hypo Unawareness and be told you have 2 years to live if you can’t find 250 thousand dollars for a Pancreas transplant. This was the reality facing Brandon just a couple of years ago. 

In this episode Brandon Mouw shares his incredible journey from growing up from a young age with Type 1 to how he is living today, without the need of insulin injections or pumps but managing lots of new health challenges which come with being a transplant survivor.

Visit Brandon's Website

Find out more about Brandon

For more information about Brandon you can visit his website, or following him on Instagram @brandonmouwofficial

Visit Brandon's Website

Missed anything in todays diabetic and healthy podcast? View the podcast transcript below to get the full show notes.

Intro (00:00:00):
Life with diabetes has some highs and lows, but just like in a normal life, you can make choices which help to make your life easier, improve your health and wellbeing in the diabetic and healthy podcast. We show you how to do just that. We're here to help you put your diabetes worries behind so that you can start enjoying life with a sky high smile on your face. So let's meet our host for today's show. Is Charlotte.

Charlotte (00:00:28):
Hello? Um, happy new year, everyone, a big, big, happy new year from diabetic and healthy. Uh, this is the first episode of 2021. If you were a listener last year, thank you so much. And if you are new, thank you for coming and checking this podcast out. I really hope you enjoy it. I've got the most incredible interview for you today. So a great one to start the year off before I tell you about that, just a quick reminder about social media diabetic and healthy is on Facebook. So we have a Facebook page and we also have two Facebook groups, diabetic and healthy community, and also type one fit diabetic and healthy is also on Instagram. Share lots of, um, fitness and nutrition and just general kind of diabetes tips and info on there. That's diabetic underscore and underscore healthy. And of course there's a podcast that you're listening to now, please do hit subscribe. And that way you will never miss a show. Oh cake. So today's interview is with an amazing guy called Brandon, um, Brandon lives in California. And I don't even want to tell you that much because he tells his story so beautifully. Um, I think I'm just gonna let you, uh, let you listen to everything that he has got to say, but trust me, you will not be disappointed. This is just V most inspiring story. So here's Brandon.

Charlotte (00:02:09):
Hi, Brandon. How are you? I am great. Thank you. How are you?

Charlotte (00:02:14):
I am good. Thank you. Thank you so, so much for agreeing to do this and I will let our listeners know that it is currently free am where you are. So that's, uh, that's dedication.

Charlotte (00:02:27):
Hey, it's bright and early, but I am happy to be here and thank you for having me on

Charlotte (00:02:32):
You're very welcome. So you have, you have an amazing story and your story started very early on in your life because you were diagnosed at four years old. We've typed one.

Charlotte (00:02:44):
Yeah, that's correct. Um,

Charlotte (00:02:47):
So I guess you don't have that many memories of being three years old, but what is your, what's your kind of earliest memory of you and diabetes? What, what can you remember? The earliest

Brandon (00:03:00):
Memory I have is, um, being diagnosed and my parents had taken me to the hospital and this was a 1987. And like, this was way back in the day when I was

Charlotte (00:03:16):
Born. Yeah. It's

Brandon (00:03:19):
It's, you know, it's just, it's it's it's I, I just turned 36, so like, it was a different, everything was just done differently back then, but I was taken back. This is what I remember. I was taken back from my parents and then I was held down by two people to get blood drawn and that's, and then I spent two nights in the hospital and that's what I remember about being diagnosed as a diabetic.

Charlotte (00:03:47):
So pretty traumatic.

Brandon (00:03:51):
And I still hate getting my blood drawn to this day. Not because they're hurts, but because of that, I was traumatized, but that's, that's like, that's my earliest memory of, of diabetes. Is that experience.

Charlotte (00:04:08):
So I'm guessing your parents had obviously picked up on stuff and that's how you ended it in the hospital in the first place.

Brandon (00:04:16):
Yeah, I think it's like every, a lot, like almost every person's journey with diabetes is everything is normal. Suddenly you become lethargic, you get super thirsty, there's something wrong. You don't really catch on right away. But like other people notice or, or by the time you notice it's a problem. And my parents picked up on it pretty quick. I became a, just a fun kid, always up for anything too lethargic, drinking tons and tons of water. Um, the type of a kid, they knew something was, was wrong. And so, yeah, that, that's kind of that those are the tall tale signs for me. Yeah.

Charlotte (00:05:00):
And did, did your parents know anything about diabetes when you were diagnosed? W is there any other diabetes in the family, anything like that?

Brandon (00:05:09):
No. So I drew the lucky straw and, uh, they didn't know anything about it. And, and so it was one of those things where it was reliant upon the doctors and nurses, um, to, to help them understand. And then I was, I'm very fortunate to have parents who took it very seriously and really took control to help me have the best, uh, childhood that I can with diabetes. Like instead of being the kid with diabetes, I was a kid that had parents who helped, who helped control my diabetes.

Charlotte (00:05:53):
Yeah. And that's, I mean, obviously at that age, that is exactly you need, and it makes all the difference, but they, they took it for what it is, you know, it's a serious condition and you've got to stay on top of it. Yeah.

Brandon (00:06:07):
Really looking back on it too. I never did. I think, like something was wrong with me or that I had this illness and that I was stricken with it, or like I was cursed or anything like that. It was, it was always, it was just, it was a part of me and it, it became a part of life so quickly that it, it was second nature. And even though I had the, like the highest and low blood sugars as a kid and the types of insulins were much different and there were no CGMs or insulin pumps and, and any of that kind of stuff, um, we may do. And it's kind of crazy, like looking back at it and thinking of all the times where I was low and, and, uh, diet your diet had to be way more restricted back then because it wasn't, it wasn't based on carb counting. It was the, the insulin was, was, was just different. It was, it was a called R and N or NPH. So there were just like two types of these insulins that you would take. And if you didn't eat, if you did not eat enough food, your insulin would be too low. And then if you're in, and then if your blood sugar ended up being too high, it was, and you had, um, you didn't want to overlap your insulin. And so, like, it was a completely different way of,

Charlotte (00:07:36):
We were having to eat around your insulin. Whereas now we're like, we're working our insulin around what we want to eat, but I suppose it was, it was backwards back then.

Brandon (00:07:44):
Yeah. It was kind of like, I li I had to live my lifestyle according to the insulin, as opposed to nowadays you, you, uh, manage your insulin according to your lifestyle. Yeah. It was pretty crazy. Yeah.

Charlotte (00:07:58):
Yeah. Um, and when did you start kind of doing injections yourself and things like that? Cause I'm assuming at three years old, your, your parents were kind of controlling that part of it for you.

Brandon (00:08:10):
Yeah. The exact age. I don't remember, but it was pretty young. I w I was as a kid and always my whole life. I'm the type of person who is open. I'm going to do it. I'm going to get it done. Don't worry about it type of a person. So when I was able to start really testing my own blood sugar, I would say like consistently by age five, I, everything was, was in my own hands. Um, and by that time I had even gone to a diabetic camp where it was the first time that I had met other diabetics. And they really like, they taught you different things, like how to do your own injections in your arm. And it was where I learned how to like, use my, my knee and put your arm on your knee to pinch the skin and put it in the arm and stuff like that worth.

Brandon (00:09:12):
It was the doctor never really showed me that they showed me how to do it in my thigh. And, and so it was, it was a big eyeopening and learning experience to see how other people were doing injections and how they would test their blood and, and all that kind of stuff. And so, yeah, from a really pretty young age, I, I had control or I control what I, what I assumed controlled my diet, my diabetes injections and testing my blood and stuff like that. But, um, my parents always, wherever we go and, um, whatever we ended up doing, they always would, uh, kept all my stuff in a caboodle. I don't know if you remember what those are, but yeah. I kept all my stuff in this caboodle that I, that I would take everywhere with me. Cause I had all my supplies in it and the insulin had to be refrigerated at all times back then. So there was like this little ice, this little ice box thing that we would take with me. And so it was like my, my little medical kit that went everywhere with me and my, like, my mom always made sure, like we had that, but it was pretty nice. Like, I, I can't complain. Like I say, nice. And those in the awards, like it wasn't all that hard and, and, and controlling it as, as a kid. Cause I had supportive parents and I took control over it. I owned it.

Charlotte (00:10:35):
And did you, you said at no time, did you feel like you hadn't, like you didn't think of it as an illness? It was just part of you. Did you, were there any times when you did actually get ill with it as a child, like, did you have any DKA or, you know, become unwell with something else and then your blood sugars went crazy? Like, can you remember times when it was really, really hard?

Brandon (00:11:01):
You know, I've never, I had never been hospitalized for diabetes. Um, I never had DKA. The only issue that I would run into, and this is kind of a running theme in my life is, is hypoglycemia the low blood sugars. I don't, I don't know what the preferred term is that you use, but yeah, the hypos were, um, always, always an issue because a lot of times you get the feeling that they're coming on and you are like, Oh, I need to drink some juice and eat some candy. Let me eat some food. And when you're young, you missed some of those, um, early signs. And so it would be kind of like I would start dozing off or, um, you know, drifting off mentally and things like that. So,

Charlotte (00:11:59):
And a lot lower before you were getting nice or noticing those warning signs.

Brandon (00:12:04):
Exactly. And so what was, what was neat is that my parents, um, and I grew up on a farm and so I was always active. Um, I played sports as a kid. Like I played every sport as a kid, but what would, what we ended up doing was that like, um, if I was out on the farm and stuff like that, my dad or my mom was always around watching me. It wasn't always like, like I was alone. If I played sports, my dad was always the coach and to keep an eye on me. And then every time there was a break, I would have oranges that I was eating. And just to, just to always keep that blood sugar up because we never wanted, wanted it to go down. And so like the worst thing that I would say, I never w w hadn't been hospitalized, but as a kid who could gone was used probably more than average on me, just because that's how my body react and reacted. And so that was, those are probably like the worst things that I could re that I can recall.

Charlotte (00:13:15):
Um, I'm probably one of the scariest for your parents. I'd imagine. Like, that's gotta be quite stressful, especially once you're off and you're at school and you're not somewhere that they're, you know, able to keep an eye in the same way. Um, I mean, as a, as a mum myself, I, I honestly can't imagine how much I would worry.

Brandon (00:13:36):
Oh, yeah. And, uh, it's, it's interesting. Cause like, if I, if, when I talk to my parents now about like, as a kid and stuff like that, like they got, they have unlimited stories about times that my blood sugar would go low. And they're like, all of a sudden you said, then you lock yourself in a bathroom one time. Like, you know, one time, like we couldn't find you because when you're, you know, when you go hypo, it's like your, your brain doesn't

Charlotte (00:14:04):
Function. Yeah.

Brandon (00:14:07):
And so it is it's, it's, uh, it's quite interesting to hear all these stories and I'm like, well, I don't remember anything.

Charlotte (00:14:13):
Yeah. It hasn't affected me. You'll pull parents.

Brandon (00:14:20):
Got it. No, but they took very good care of me and I, and I give them full credit for being awesome parents that never made me feel different and always made sure that I was included because even, um, you know, I mean, as a kid, when you're in school, you get a birthday parties and, and parents bring cupcakes for their kids or some kind of tree. Right. And I wouldn't, I wouldn't be able to eat it because there wasn't the carb counting the insulin pumps and all that kind of stuff. So what we did have back then were, um, sugar-free cookies that my mom could make or angel food cake, which is what we, you know, has the least amount of sugar that there is. And like there was one type of sugar-free ice cream at the store, vanilla ice cream at the store that we bought. So it was, or sugar-free jello. And so in order for me not to feel left out, my mom would always make sure that

Charlotte (00:15:23):
Would show up

Brandon (00:15:26):
Yeah. For me there. So it wasn't, I never felt left out because of it. And, and I think that that's pretty amazing as parents that they went through so much effort to, to, to get me to feel that way. And, you know, and I recognize it and I see it now, but at the time it was just like, Oh, you know, I had my own, my, my special thing that I could eat. And I, you know, I always felt included and a part of it. I know I never felt the exclusion aspect of it.

Charlotte (00:15:59):
And what about at school with that? W you know, kids, kids are strange, like what, you know, describe strange creatures. Was that any bullying or did people think it was really cool? Like, you know, what was, what, what, what other kids take on it?

Brandon (00:16:19):
So the only people who really knew that I was a diabetic were the teachers and administration, um, back then, uh, diabetes. I mean, even to this day, it's so misunderstood that it, that there's this connotation that there's something wrong with you, that you've done something wrong to, and you've created this mess for yourself. And that's kind of how it is as a kid. When you tell people that you're diabetic, they just think, Oh, something is wrong with you. Why,

Charlotte (00:16:54):
What did you do? What did you do your, that your, that you're a liability get away?

Brandon (00:17:03):
Um, I did, I, it wasn't something I wore on my sleeve. Eh, um, if I was low, they really didn't understand. It was just, Oh, you know, I was acting weird, but there was always an adult who knew about it, but I kept very close. I kept my, those cards very close to my chest because it didn't benefit me to have others know that I was a diabetic. It was more detrimental. Um, and I would think that because of how it's perceived and even as a young kid, um, and growing up, I recognize that, and then that started to change. Once insulin pumps came out, when you would see them, even though I would try to hide them and stuff, people would still ask. And I think that that's kind of when the dynamic changed a little bit, because it became more public. And not that, not that the whole attitude changed, but the perception of, Oh, wow. There are people who are completely normal who have this device connected to them

Charlotte (00:18:11):
Doing all this stuff that we don't even realize

Brandon (00:18:15):
Exactly. They're living a normal life and they got to do all these things and they're things going off and beeping. And I, and I think that that really kind of changed the perspective, uh, from it being like, Oh, poor you. And, you know, there's something just not quite right too. Oh, wow. Uh, you're accomplishing these great things. That's pretty amazing. And so, um, yeah, so I, those in terms of people knowing, and, um, people knew a very long time when I was growing up.

Charlotte (00:18:49):
So what, what age were you when you got a pump? I was 16. Okay.

Brandon (00:18:56):
Yeah. So, and that's when they, that's, when they kind of first started coming out. Um, I think it was the second generation of the pumps that I got. Um, and I was on that. I had that pump for six years. It was the med, one of the Medtronic mini med ones. And then I remember they came out with a new one and I had a choice cause they were five. They were about $5,000 and I could get the new one because the old one, when it worked, worked anymore. And then I went back to injections for awhile and then I got the new pump for awhile. And then I went back to the injector and I, you know, I would kind of switch back and forth because sometimes you get sick of the, of that, of that pump. And, and, uh, what would bother me the most is the two being nine times out of 10, I would end up pulling it out and not just because I have activities and it was always doing something. And, and so it kind of became more of a pain to me than it was just a quick do an injection. And my diabetes was so well controlled either way.

Charlotte (00:20:13):
I was going to say, did you, did you notice a big difference in control, but

Brandon (00:20:18):
No, I didn't. Um, I think the novelty of it was pretty, was pretty cool right away. But once that wore away, it was, I had the same control with injections and carb counting than I did with the insulin pump. So it didn't matter to me whether I was on it or not. Like, it, it wasn't like I had way better control on it or way better control off of it. It was the same. And so, um, it was easier for me not to use the pump for a long time.

Charlotte (00:20:51):
So your control was really good, but I know you at some stage, you obviously started to run into some complications. So what, what happened there?

Brandon (00:21:03):
Yeah. So I F I was extremely well-controlled to a diabetic, to the point where my endocrinologist told me I really didn't need to come in unless I needed something.

Charlotte (00:21:20):
They would just,

Brandon (00:21:22):
Yeah, we'll just, we'll run your blood work. And if anything comes up, we'll call you in. Otherwise we'll keep your, um, uh, medication and all your prescriptions filled. And because we wish all diabetics were like, you, you just, you take care of yourself, you eat well, you live a, you live a healthy lifestyle. Your blood sugar is so well controlled. Your, you know, your A1C is perfect. And like, they were always worried, like, don't get it any lower. And it wasn't like I had this goal of having the perfect blood sugar. It was just, I think I was so used to the regimen of being a diabetic and, and, and kind of eating the same things and taking the same amount of insulin and, and knowing how my body would react and doing all of those types of things. So what changed was all of a sudden,

Charlotte (00:22:17):
Sorry, I was just going to say, it's almost a benefit that you've got it so young, like that you just grew up with it and it was all second nature.

Brandon (00:22:30):
Yeah. And I, and I'll definitely say that, um, individuals it's it's, uh, so I mean, D being diagnosed young, it's just, uh, because it, it, it, it's so unfair, right. Because you're young, you don't know what's going on, you have to learn. Um, but it becomes so ingrained in your life that you don't know any different. And, um, when you are diagnosed later in life, you know, in your early teens and all that kind of stuff, it's, you have to completely change your world upside down, every everything changes. And I think that it's very hard to change that aspect of it. So it's definitely easier to be diagnosed at a younger age. And it is older. I would say that for sure. Like, there's a, there's a benefit to that. Uh, it is not fun either way, but yeah, I'll say that. And then, so, yeah, I was so, yeah, so like, I was well-controlled until my late twenties.

Brandon (00:23:37):
And then I, I suddenly had this really terrible pain in my left flank, and I was like, eh, it'll go away. I went on a hike or I, you know, I heard it working out or, or doing something. And, um, and as a diabetic, you just, I think you just get a higher pain tolerance just in general. Cause with, with the, with the higher and, and the, and low blood sugars, you know, you're just used to your body fluctuating and you just get over things quicker. The problem was that this pain never went away. It just got worse and worse and worse. And so I finally went to the hospital and it turned out that I had two kidney stones, the size of my thumbnail in my left kidney. And they didn't know what caused them. They didn't know why they were there. They didn't know why there were two of them.

Brandon (00:24:33):
They didn't know why they were so big that they said you're septic and we have to go in and remove them. So they went in and they removed the kidney stones and uh, said, okay, well, everything, everything is good to go. It was completely non-diabetic related. It was just something that my body did. Um, it was the type of kidney stones that they didn't really have a, a direct cause. Um, um, like they can test the kidney stone and tell you, Oh, their calcium or, Oh, they're oxalate or whatever it is. And you can control your diet to help minimize it. And those types of things. And they couldn't tell. So it was just like a fluke thing. And as soon as that happened with my kidney, I, my control of diabetes changed. And it went from me being well controlled to me, starting to have more and Mo more hypos. Um, so like six months to a year, they were just starting happening more and more. And I really didn't notice how bad or how many hypos I had were having until I was at work. And I went to, to grab the, I could feel myself going low. And I went to grab the juice out of my briefcase and it was gone. And then I went back up candy and it was gone. And I ran to my car to go grab my, my extras in there and they were gone.

Charlotte (00:26:10):
And I was like, I didn't even realize I had,

Brandon (00:26:15):
Yeah, I've never had that happen in my life. And so that was kind of like the sign that something really was wrong. Something was, something was going on that I wasn't aware of. And that it all started with the, that the kidney stones. And that's kind of what I tie it back to. The doctors can't directly correlate it, but that's the only thing in my life that changed. And so I went from being a well-controlled diabetic to a brittle diabetic, took them about two and a half years to diagnose me as a brittle diabetic. And that was after being, um, pronounced, technically pronounced dead twice, but they were able to get me back and resuscitate me. And that was, that was free up from low from. Um, and that was after having countless times of the emergency personnel waking up because other people found me passed out.

Brandon (00:27:23):
And, uh, and, um, you know, and I have just got countless stories of just me, not remembering days and, and events and, and all that kind of stuff because of hypos. And so finally, they were able to diagnose me as a brittle diabetic, which means that you can't control your blood sugar no matter what you do, your body just doesn't respond correctly and hypoglycemia unawareness because I couldn't feel it coming on. Um, and even with a, with a CGM, um, by the time it would alert me, I would, the, the hypo would happen so quickly that by the time my CGM could alert me mentally, I was ready. I was already too far gone to catch on. And so I wouldn't be able to catch on the trends or any, sorry,

Charlotte (00:28:18):
Still going high, where you still getting hype. Well, not necessarily hyper, but were you still getting spikes at this point or was it just running very low over time?

Brandon (00:28:30):
So I would get spikes because what I would do is when I would have a hypo, I would drink all the juice and eat more food, which would spike. But th but the trick was, I wouldn't, you know, I wouldn't take insulin. I would, I wanted lunch. And that was, yeah. And that was the goal, but the problem was it would do that. And then immediately it would just crash and I didn't have it, it would just go back off. And it wasn't like I had, I didn't have any extra insulin in my body. I D I, we couldn't the, the, the problem was we couldn't figure it out. We didn't know if it, if it was that my stomach had a type of gastro-paresis that wasn't digesting food correctly. So I wasn't getting the, um, the carpet carbohydrates being transferred into sugar because the end wasn't wasn't connecting correctly, or if it was because my kidney was messed up and the insulin wasn't being processed correctly, um, or if it was antibodies that were preventing the insulin from being used correctly, and the theories were just were just crazy. But to me, it was like, just tell me, like, what's going on and let's go to the bottom of it and fix it. And so it was, uh, it just, it became going from me having such good control over my diabetes to diabetes now having complete control over me and every single thing that I did in life. And it got really scary because I'd be afraid to go to sleep at night, because I wouldn't know if I would wake up,

Charlotte (00:30:20):
Hi, I'd be scared at night. Or like, were you able to drive?

Brandon (00:30:28):
I was able to drive, but after, um, after about a year and a half, where I would have to, I, I would get lost all of a sudden I would come to and I would just be like, where am I driving?

Charlotte (00:30:47):
[inaudible] gone off into hypo mode.

Brandon (00:30:51):
Yep. I had to, I had to stop driving. I had to stop working. And that's when it became a full-time job to figure out what was wrong with me and what was causing this and what I could do to fix it, because gosh, darn it for, you know, 28 years, everything was well controlled. And now all of a sudden, everything is messed up. What, what is going on and why can't doctors tell me anything? And, um, one of the things that they kept saying was that, well, you just need to eat more complex carbohydrates before bed, just to have yourself a Graham Cracker and peanut butter. And I like, do you really think that that is the thing that's going to fix it? I was like, I, well, yeah, but, you know, but it turned out like before bed, I would drink, I call it Gatorade. Um, uh, I don't know if you guys have Gatorade, but it's, it's sports drink and yeah.

Charlotte (00:31:50):
Yeah. It's like a, it's a bit lonely cause aid. Yeah.

Brandon (00:31:53):
Yeah. And it has the sugar in there. And so I would drink an entire bottle of that before bed to try to prevent myself from having a hypo. And it was like a flip of a coin. I would either not wake up because my blood sugar was too low or I would wake up and I would just, I would just be running high. And so I never knew how my body would respond. There was no rhyme or reason. And that's when that brittle, brittle, diabetic comes into place because you never know what, what your body is going to do. And it's scary because when you don't know what your body is going to do, your mind goes to all the terrible places. And, um, especially when you, you know, you wake up and you have all the medical, medical personnel above you saying, Hey, um, you're, we can't even read your blood sugar on the meter because it's reading low.

Brandon (00:32:53):
And how did you get to this place? And I'm just like, I don't know. You tell me exactly. And I didn't do it to myself. It's, it's my body not, um, regulating it correctly. The doctors can't tell me, and I'm just trying to figure it out. And so it became like my purpose in life to go doctor shopping. And I went to every single doctor you could possibly think of just to try to figure out, like, was it a different disease? Was it a different auto-immune disorder? Was it completely something unrelated? Like what, what could have, what ha what could have been causing this? And, um, it all kind of came back to that, the kidney issue, because that's when it all started.

Charlotte (00:33:43):
So did, did you find one doctor? He was like, yeah, absolutely. I agree. It was to do with the kidney stones. Yeah.

Brandon (00:33:55):
Kind of because no one wants to like say directly, um, cause there really isn't a right answer, but what, what ended up happening was I made an appointment with a new doctor that I had never seen before. And in here in the United States, it's, there's a long, you have to wait months, like it's three to six months before you can, you can see a new doctor. And so I would, I had all these appointments made and I would go see them. And I was like, that was a waste of time. That was a complete waste of time. Finally, I went and I saw this doctor that I had an appointment with and she came in and she just sat down and she was like, your body just no longer functions correctly. I've seen this in a few of my patients before. Um, it could be from your kidney.

Brandon (00:34:45):
And like she named all those things. It could be because of gastro-paresis. It could be just that your body just can't process insulin anymore. It can be because of insulin antibodies. And, but she goes, all of that stuff is not fixable. Those are all things that in the medical field, we do not have control over because your body isn't functioning correctly. And so the only way to repair what you're going through and to give you your life back is to have a pancreas only transplant. And then she went on to say that I would have less than two years to live if I didn't have the transplant, because having that many hypos is so damaging to your body, your organs, your mind, because every time it shut completely down and then it has to restart and your not meant to do that. And she also said that the next hypo or low blood sugar that I had would likely be my last. So I would need to beg, borrow, and steal and do everything that I possibly could to get this transplant. Or I was just simply going to waste away and die.

Charlotte (00:35:59):
What did you feel at that point?

Brandon (00:36:02):
I felt a fire being lit under my to, to get this transplant because it was the first time I received a definitive answer of something that would solve the issue that I was having. And, um, of course I had like millions of questions, like, but, but, but what about this? And what about that? And she just said, everything will be answered, but you need to get to a transplant hospital and they'll explain, you know, what exactly will happen and how that works. Um, and then here in the United States, it's really unfortunate because we have what is known as the affordable care act. And that is our standard of healthcare and it was passed and it's, and it's very good for people with pre-existing conditions because before this was passed in 2015, if you had a preexisting condition as a diabetic, you couldn't get health coverage, you were denied, so you'd have to pay cash for everything. So when it was passed, it was great because you could get health insurance and get health coverage. You'd still have to pay money, but it was much less than having to pay cash for everything. But within it, um, is written that a pancreas only transplant is an optional coverage. And so as an insurance company, that's, that is built to make profits off of you and not provide you healthcare coverage that you need to save your life. Um, I couldn't get it covered. I assume,

Charlotte (00:37:45):
Official to them to give you,

Brandon (00:37:48):
It's not beneficial to them. It's going to hurt their pocket. So they're not going to want it, even though I'm paying for it. So I sued and I sued the government and all that kind of stuff. And I got an eye and the final decision was, well, this is medically necessary. And we agree that you need it, save your life. We choose not to cover it because it is an optional coverage of the affordable care act. So basically we agree with you. We need you, but I mean, you need it and we agree with you, but we don't have to cover it. So by our problem. Yeah. And so then I was left with having to figure out how am I going to pay cash to get this transplant done? When, how much it would cost

Charlotte (00:38:36):
At that point, at that point?

Brandon (00:38:38):
I didn't know. And so I finally, I had to go to two after two transplant, hospitals denied me healthcare. I mean, denied me coverage because one, I didn't have the money up front and the insurance and it covered the transplant. Um, two, I was a high risk patient because of the hypoglycemia, unawareness brittle diabetes, who knew what was going on. And three, um, that kidney that they did surgery on it, it kept failing and they eventually had to remove it. So I had one kidney removed. I, and, and so I was a high risk patient. And so finally, one of the best hospitals in the United States, it's called Mayo clinic. Um, they agreed to take me on as a patient, but they said it's $20,000 just to go through the, the, just to go through the process of seeing if you can be a candidate for surgery. And then it's $250,000 upfront for us to place you on the list to have to have the transplant surgery.

Charlotte (00:39:49):
It's a house, that's a house

Brandon (00:39:53):
That's a lot, you know, that's like a life savings that, I mean, that's a lot of money. And, and so that's, that's when I figured out how much it was. And I had to, um, take that in. And like I said, that fire was lit under my, and I was determined through hell or high water to beg, borrow, and steal for that money because I, and I still feel this way. I felt that every, you know, life is meant to be lived. And I, and I, wasn't going to be a victim of this, you know, this kidney stone problem. I wasn't going to let that be the thing that took me out. And, and I, I, you know, I was too young to let, to let myself be taken out by a hypo. So I was determined to do anything that I could to get this transplant. And so then I went on my journey to try to come up with $250,000 without knowing what I was doing.

Charlotte (00:41:01):
What, where do you even start?

Brandon (00:41:04):
Well, that's a great question. Where would you start?

Charlotte (00:41:10):
Yeah, exactly. And I'm wondering if you've got like anything really valuable that you can sell, or

Brandon (00:41:21):
I was like, okay, I can get rid of my car. I can't like, I was just going through everything. You know, I mean, I had, I had student loan debt because I had just graduated law school. I, uh, like, you know, I wasn't working, so it wasn't like I could just get a loan. I didn't own any property. So it's like, I couldn't sell it for money. I, I was just in a place where I wasn't financially stable to afford something like that. And so, like I talked again and again, and again, even at this point in my life, my diabetes was, was very private. People didn't know that I was going through all of this kind of stuff. They knew about like my kidney surgeries, but they didn't think that it was had anything to do with diabetes. It was just, I had these crazy kidney stones and how to have them removed and how to have a bunch of other surgeries and eventually lost my kidney and okay.

Brandon (00:42:13):
I'm all better. Um, and that wasn't the case. And so at the time I was living with a roommate because my blood sugars were so bad. And the deal was that the roommate would check on me in the morning if I wasn't up. And so, you know, like it was like a check. It was like a check and balance system. Like I had, I literally had a caretaker living with me cause that's how bad it was. And she said, um, at the time I wasn't on social media at all, because I was a high school, social studies teacher before I went to law school and the students would stalk me. So I had to delete like all my social media and it was just better not having it. And um, so she goes, we need to put you on go fund me and share your story with people.

Brandon (00:43:06):
And I was like, heck no, I'm not doing that people. I don't want, I don't want people sympathy. I don't want them to know that I'm suffering. I have always been a well-controlled. I could take care of myself. Um, like, like, you know, like it was a pride thing. I didn't want to show, I didn't want to show this vulnerability that I was now a victim of this disease that I felt like I had conquered for so long. And eventually it got to the point of, well, I'm gonna die if I don't come up with that money. So,

Speaker 5 (00:43:45):
Well, I, my pride, I need to stop being

Brandon (00:43:50):
Swallow my pride and what do I have to lose by putting, by just writing it out and putting it and putting it out to the universe and, and, and seeing what happened and had it not been for her encouragement to do that. And my, my parents' encouragement to do that as well. They're like, so just like Brandon, like seriously, what do you have to lose? And I'm like, well, I know death, but also my pride. And, um, and, and so it really, you know, and I'm stubborn in that way where it's like, I don't want to ask for help because I can do it on my own and, and that kind of stuff. But so I vulnerable and I wrote down exactly what I was going through. I laid the story completely out as to what I had been through for so long, what I was going through, what was the timeframe that I was in, where, where the money would go, all that kind of stuff.

Brandon (00:44:48):
And I sent letters to, uh, close family members and friends, and we made the, um, thing public. And it was just, and it was like, now what? Yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah. Nothing was really hard happening and nothing happened really until I received an anonymous donation of $20,000. And that was the, that was the $20,000 that I needed to start seeing if I could even be a candidate for transplant. And as soon as people saw that I, that people actually gave, and I was actually, you know, and I was updating it, my friend would completely, I control over it. She was like, okay, what did they say? Let's do it, take a picture and let's pull it, put it on there, you know, to keep, to keep it up there. Like, you know, there's a whole like, process to do that because it's not normal to just raise $250,000 for a life-saving surgery online.

Brandon (00:45:53):
That's just kind of unheard of, you know? And so we started with that once they determined that I could be a candidate, then it was, it was, the ball started really rolling. And within three months I raised the 250,000 from friends, family, and strangers from all over. And, um, it really changed my perspective on people and the world, because I thought that being vulnerable was the, the worst thing that could have that I could have ever done. And it turned out to have been the best thing that I could have ever done. And, you know, that's, I would say that's my biggest learning experience with dealing with diabetes is that, you know, you feel very alone, you become isolated, you think people don't understand, but when you express what you're going through, people, don't people, there are some people that look down at you and, and, you know, and judge you and, and, you know, they're just like, okay, and you did it to yourself.

Brandon (00:47:07):
People we want anyway, they're not, they're not the people that deserve our time, but then there's a lot out of people who can relate in their own way and they want to help and they want to support. And they want to do, even if it's sending positive vibes or praying, or, you know, saying, you know, if there's anything that I can do for you, let me know. Or even, you know, giving financially for a life-saving surgery, they're out there and it completely blew my mind. It changed my perspective. And, and it showed me that my thought about the human people, about being so selfish really wasn't true. People care about people. It's just, they don't know how to care unless you tell them what they need to care about. And, and so that was, that was, uh, that was an amazing experience that, that I, and, and, and mental transformation that I went through with that aspect.

Charlotte (00:48:09):
Wow. So what, so you went ahead and you, you got the surgery.

Brandon (00:48:16):
Yup. So I gave, I gave male Mayo clinic, the $250,000 and the financial coordinator who I became very good friends with, because it was like one of the, one of those, like, I was really nervous. Like, you can't forget about me. I'm not going anywhere. You know? And I would check in regularly and I'd be like, okay, I have this much money. And so like, when I, when I had the, the money wired over to her, she says, I have never, she goes, I've never seen anyone come up with this much money that fast. How did you do it? Because she goes, you know, people come from wealth and they just pay for it. But she goes, you had to raise this money, which everyone says that they're going to do, but they can't. And, and I was like, I don't know. I got, I just, I got very fortunate.

Brandon (00:49:04):
This got shared on social media accordingly. I was lucky that I had somebody who knew what they were doing. And, um, I am supposed to be alive for a reason, otherwise this money would not have come. And that's just the way I looked at it. And so she said, okay, we got the money and I'm, I'm setting you up, um, to be listed. And you'll be on, you'll be on the transplant list within the next day or two. And you can get a call the same day, or it can be up to five years. And so I was like, I was like, well, you know, I am on a timeframe. And in terms of how long they think I can live. So let's see if we can, let's see if I can make it that long. And two months later, the day after Christmas in 2018, I received the phone call to come in for transplant.

Brandon (00:50:02):
And I went in and, um, they took me. I was within, I was in surgery within 20 minutes and they did a successful pancreas, only transplant. And when I woke up, the first thing I asked was, I mean, the first thing I asked the nurse that was, that was there with me was, was it successful? And she says, I it's successful because your new Oregon has your blood sugar at 89. And I wasn't on insulin. I wasn't, you know, I wasn't, I didn't have any juice running through my body. It was, it was naturally regulating itself. And I don't, I forget what the conversion rate is for you guys, but 89 is basically the normal blood sugar. Right. That's like the golden blood sugar.

Charlotte (00:50:53):
Yes. That for us, that's probably around five, I would imagine.

Brandon (00:50:56):
Yeah. So, so five, so your blood sugar is five, right? And it's working and like tears rolling down my face because it was the first time in over three years that I wasn't just low because my average blood sugar was about 2.5. So like my average blood sugar was here in the United States was it was in the forties. And so if, if like 80 is about five and that's like, you're perfect. Just half that. So imagine living with a blood sugar of 2.5 for three years, then all of a sudden waking up from a surgery that was successful and your blood sugar is normal. And I felt so good. And I was just like, this is crazy. I couldn't believe it the night and day difference that you, you, you forget when you slowly, when your body and your mind slowly degrade, you forget how, how quickly it feels to feel good.

Charlotte (00:52:01):
It's always a thing, isn't it? You don't, you just don't, you never know how bad you feel until you then feel good. And you're like, Oh yeah, I actually, I was feeling pretty bad.

Brandon (00:52:13):
Exactly. And you're like, how did I, you know, how did I let it get that bad? But you go into survival mode and you do whatever, and you try to start doing whatever it takes.

Charlotte (00:52:23):
Yes. Just taking a step backward slightly. So those first two months you were waiting for that call, what kind of, what kind of mindset were you in? Were you in a positive mindset where you think invest is going to be the day they ring, or was part of you thinking like, this is not gonna come in time for me

Brandon (00:52:47):
Both. So, so many people had invested in me to be like, to really, to live. Right. And I didn't want to be a let down and just kind of give up, even though I felt like crap, even though it was a battle, it literally was a battle to survive. Every day I was fighting these low blood sugars, like, like with no tomorrow, there was nothing I could do to keep, to keep them normal. And so I had to, um, and the, the hypos were so bad that they were, and I was having five to six of them a day. And the recovery is so bad from a hypo. And so that was my mindset. And so it was just about a matter of survival. And I, I did, and mentally, I thought, you know, if one of these things take me out, at least I know I gave up my all, I did every possible thing I could to, to live and to make it happen.

Brandon (00:53:54):
Um, and I would be okay with that, but I'm going to keep giving it my all, because I can get that call anytime, you know, that that can just happen any time. And so that was kind of my mentality, um, and what was going through my head. And so, um, once a month, or when you're on the transplant list, you have to go and you have to give a blood sample because if they find a potential match, they take your blood sample with their blood sample and they put them together and they see how it reacts and stuff like that. And I remember I had just gone and I did my second month of my blood sample and I just received the new package in the mail to go get, um, my next one done for January. And I was like, Oh man, how many of these am I going to have to do before they call me?

Brandon (00:54:47):
And it w it really, when I was least expecting it, I w I, I got a phone call and I looked at the phone number. Somehow I wasn't low. I wasn't going through a hypo. I, I, uh, it was like the right place at the right time. And I answered the phone and the lady on the other end said, are you ready for a new pancreas? And I was like, are you, and I was like, absolutely. Like, what do I need to do? What do I need? And all, and it was, and all she said was get to the hospital right now. And, um, uh, you know, and I did. And, and so it, you know, that in its own, it was like a crazy story, you know, and, and all that kind of stuff. But yeah, like all of, all of those little things came together to, to save my life from hypoglycemia, which is, which is crazy to think, you know, from going from a perfectly well-controlled diabetic than something completely non-diabetic related changes your whole body.

Brandon (00:55:59):
And then you become an uncontrolled diabetic. It's kind of, it's, it's kind of scary to think about that because you want to take care of yourself to prevent the long-term complications of the disease. And that was my whole goal in life. I was, you know, I wasn't going to have complications. I wasn't going to let myself go and add, let my blood sugar be higher for too long. And I was to correct it. And I was going to, I was going to stay up later to watch my blood sugar, to make sure that it corrected itself correctly. That was my mindset. And when all of a sudden within a snap, everything changes,

Charlotte (00:56:36):
Nothing that you've done

Brandon (00:56:38):
And yeah. From nothing I have done and nothing I can do, right. You have to adapt. And my add, and my adaptation was to do the best that I could, because I couldn't find anyone else that was going through what I was going through. I couldn't find anyone else that, um, was listed for a pancreas only transplant cause they do so few of them a year. And, um, it was kind of like, I, I re I was on my own figuring out how to do it. And somehow some way I was meant to be alive. And I am here today to share my story with you.

Charlotte (00:57:17):
Honestly, I think the type of person you are from what you've said, and your mindset has everything to do with the fact that you're here today.

Brandon (00:57:27):
It has to, I can't put, I can't put my finger on it, but there's something that is like, Hey, you know, if you wake up in the morning with breath in your lungs, there's a purpose for that day. And that, you know, and that's always been my attitude about, about life is that it's meant to be lived. And I think that that

Charlotte (00:57:47):
What could have been told what you were told and, you know, in your financial situation, wherever sat felt like I don't have that money. Like, I don't know anyone that has that money. I can't get a loan. And, and at that point they would have given up, they would have thought, that's not, you know, that's my only option, but it's not an option for me. But the fact you were so driven and determined is yeah, clearly why you are, why you're talking to me today.

Brandon (00:58:14):
Yeah. And you know, and I, and I feel bad because a lot of people that just me and I've been through a lot in life. It's not like, Oh, you know, all, I just had this attitude magically. It, it developed because of things I had been through in life. But, um, I think if people knew that someone else had been through that and, and had successfully done it, it would give them a little bit more hope to keep going, to make the attempt to do those things. And, and that's why I think it's so important for me to share my journey because, you know, um, it's unique and, and you hear like, you know, those, Oh, success stories of overcoming the impossible and it's, and it really it's like these crazy thing. And mine is just, mine is just diabetes related. And when it comes down to it, it comes down to finances and finding the right doctor and that's anyone with diabetes or a chronic illness and all, and, um, anyone going through a hard time and it applies to everybody and it still applies to me today.

Brandon (00:59:33):
I don't just because I had a transplant. It doesn't mean that I'm cured. I'm no longer insulin dependent, but now I have 31 years of diabetes abuse. I mean, you're not abused, but like I have 31 years of diabetes on my body that it has taken its toll, even though I was well controlled. And now I am dependent on a loner organ to keep me alive. I have to take medication that is far more detrimental to the body than insulin or keeping or keeping your blood sugar well controlled. And I have to be on it the rest of my life and yeah.

Charlotte (01:00:15):
Immune suppressant, some things like that, but you have to. Yeah, exactly. Yup.

Brandon (01:00:20):
Yeah. The immunosuppressants. Um, so I don't have a immune system cause the body fights. Yeah. I've, I've been in rejection four times about a month ago. I, or just around here in the United States, Thanksgiving, about a month ago, I was in the hospital being, being treated with infusions to suppress my immune system further. So it would stop fighting the Oregon. And so it's another lifelong battle. It's like, I traded the diabetes for, for another disease. It's just, I'm no longer, the insulin dependency is different. I don't have the hypoglycemia. I now have tons of other side effects and, and just crazy things, you know, like one day, cause of you have to have to take a lot of pregnazone one day, like I'll wake up with this huge puffy face and I'm just like, Oh, who cares? You know, like it bothers me, but I'm like, I don't care. It's keeping me alive in the grand scheme of things.

Charlotte (01:01:23):
It doesn't matter. Yeah.

Brandon (01:01:24):
You know, the medication is really harsh on the body because like one of the bags I get, it says it's a cancer drug and I get it. I get to be careful like it can't touch children and all that kind of stuff. And here, you know, and I take six pills of those a day and I'm just like, you know, but that's what keeps me alive and mentally, I feel good and I want to live life physically because of the medication. It can't keep up with me mentally, but I'm able to live a life that I can now enjoy again and be very grateful for. So, well, you know, I think transplants are a good final option to go to a lot of diabetics think, Oh, Hey, if I only had a pancreas only transplant, I wouldn't have to worry about counting my carbs or worrying about what you would have thousand other things

Charlotte (01:02:20):
To worry about instead.

Brandon (01:02:21):
But instead the, the things you have to worry about are far worse. And I would, I would, at any moment of the day go back to being a type one diabetic over having to have the transplant because it was the life. It was so, so much easier. So I think it's better to know that just in case if worst case scenario, that, that, that, that the transplant is an option is a better state of mind to think that that's an only option in the future. And, um, I, I just, I want to put my 2 cents in on that because I think it, I get asked that a lot by people. Yeah.

Charlotte (01:03:02):
I think the amount of, um, posts I've seen, uh, like all I want for Christmas as a pancreas. Yeah. You probably don't maybe take care of your diabetes. Exactly. And it's true.

Brandon (01:03:17):
And we get it, you know, like growing up as a diabetic, it's always the wish, you know, when people would always tell me, Oh, if I could only have trade spots with you and, and they mean it, but it's, but it's also like, I don't really have it that bad. I diabetes five, you know, I th there are, there are times where it's not that great, but it's not really that bad. And so, yes. Well, it's fun to, to say, you know, all I want is a pancreas or, you know, or like my body betrayed me and all that kind of stuff really it's, you know, it's for the meme, it's it's for the thing. But I, but I think that we have a very lucky in our modern, um, medicine culture, where we have choices of types of insulins, of, you know, insulin pumps, injections, uh, short acting, it's a long, long locking.

Brandon (01:04:11):
And so in carb counting and the amount of like, just with technology today to be able to control diabetes is it's mechanical. And you're basically told how to do it instead of having to do it all on your own. And I think that it, that it's, it's amazing as well that the online community of diabetics has been able to come together and kind of form this support network. Because when I was growing up, there was no such thing. And I think people who are newly diagnosed can find a home where they don't feel isolated or alone and, and things like that. And it, and it's pretty cool. Yeah. And I think, um, and like, I wouldn't have, I would not have met you had it not been for that kind of stuff. And I think that, that is just, and I think that, that it's really neat that we can all connect online because of that, because, you know, because of diabetes, you know, it brings a lot of people together. Yeah, absolutely. And I know

Charlotte (01:05:18):
We mentioned before we started recording, like, obviously you didn't have the internet for years old, but you know, I was diagnosed at 18 and even then I didn't have the internet. So yeah. It is a different world now. Like, I didn't know anyone with type one. I was, you know, I was, I was the only person I knew that had it. Um, and, and your only options are doing what you're told. And you're, you know, you're, you're given limited information from your kind of diabetes team and you just don't have the flexibility that you have now. Like, you know, now we realize you, you can totally live a normal life, normal life with, with diabetes. Like it is a manageable condition. Whereas back then it was just right. Vesey, you know, like you were saying, it's so regimented.

Brandon (01:06:08):
Yes. And you just learned that that's what works, because if you're not do, if you're not living that regimented life, you start feeling like crap. And the point is, I don't want to feel like crap. And so I'm going to do whatever it takes to get it, to get things back on track. And, um, you know, I think diabetics are absolute warriors because diabetes takes such a toll on the body. And, and just mentally, you know, it messes with you when your blood sugar, when you have a hypo and when your blood sugar is high, or you have a hyper and you're just like, it messes with you. But then at the same time, diabetic snap, right back into it. And they're like, Nope, taking care of it. We're good to go, let me drink some water. Let me take some insulin. Let, let, let me let's crack on.

Brandon (01:07:02):
Yeah, let's keep going. You know, I'm, I'm good to go. And the amount of times that you wake up and you're scared to death in a, in a cold sweat because of, uh, you know, because of a hypo, you know, every diabetic can go on and on about that. And I, and it makes everyone a stronger person because not only do diabetics go through that, they also live a completely normal life on top of that. And I think that it makes us so much stronger of a person and, and it, and it, it pushes us so much further in life and we can, it shows that so much more can be accomplished. And so, while it is a detrimental disease, it is also very beneficial mentally, and it shows the capabilities that we can have if diet, you know, if it's diet with, with, um, just with diabetes in general, it's pretty, to me, it's pretty amazing. And I didn't realize that until I had gone through everything. Um, and when you look back, you're like, Oh, wow. Like that was a lot of work, but, uh, I made it work and, uh, that's, that's pretty cool. Like, you know, keep, keep, keep on, keeping on.

Charlotte (01:08:21):
Yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, I, I D I completely agree that I've had people say to me like, Oh, don't, you wish you weren't diabetic? Or like, you know, what, what would you do if someone came and said, like they could cure your diabetes and stuff? I was like, I don't know, because it's, um, there's actually some positives to being diabetic, like in the way that it shaped me as a person, like I did a blog that was, uh, can diabetes be a positive thing or something like that, which was quite controversial. And, you know, not everyone agreed with it, but for me, I wouldn't, I wouldn't have learned what I've learned about nutrition. I wouldn't be a personal trainer. I, you know, I, I wouldn't know about my body for wave. I do, and how to look after it if I wasn't diabetic, because you just, you just take all those things for granted.

Brandon (01:09:14):
Yes. And I, and, and, and, you know, and, and adding on to your point, it really helps put things in perspective, um, very, very quickly as a diabetic, because you see how, how fast things can change. And, um, it's, it's really neat that you, you know, you and I, and others can realize the positives with the disease, you know, not only the negatives, it's focusing on the positive, and instead of being a victim of, uh, of, of being a diabetic, you're, you're a Victor of it. And I do think, you know, like if there was a cure or don't, you wish you weren't a diabetic, you know, I think, I think the answer is, well, heck yeah, I do wish I was not a diabetic or over heck. Yeah. I wish there was a cure for it, but it's, I think it's more like, I am proud of the person that I have become because of it.

Brandon (01:10:18):
Right. Because it's, um, you're not, you're not a victim of it. And I do think that especially people who are diagnosed later in life get the opinion of I'm a victim of it. Uh, uh, why did this happen to me? And, you know, as a type one is, sometimes it just happens. There's absolutely nothing you can do about it. You know, no matter what age you are. And, um, again, if you connect with the community and stuff like that, you see that people live completely normal lives with diabetes and, and they're successful at it. And so it's not a death sentence anymore. Like, it was like, it felt like when we were younger and we were told like, you know, Oh man, if you have to be careful about what you're eating at all times, and it's just, it's, it's, it's of nice now with the freedom that, that we're with the technology and everything like that. It's pretty cool.

Charlotte (01:11:17):
Um, I have had a few, like since I've been doing diabetic and healthy, I've had a few parents of type ones get in touch. Um, and is there anything that you would say, obviously you were a child with diabetes? Is there anyone, anything that you could say to parents of children with diabetes, any advice or any, I don't know if the thing seems to be that they get in touch with me and they, of course they are scared and concerned for vet children. And a lot of them are, they feel bad for maybe their children are scared, which is why I fought is really interesting that you were saying you never felt left out. You never felt that you had an illness like it's. So is there anything that you would like to share with parents of children who are type one?

Brandon (01:12:12):
Yeah. Cause I, you know, I get contacted with the same questions as well and my advice and my advice is to always be that support system, um, for, for the child, because you are, you are their lifeline. You're the one making sure that they get the supplies, checking the blood sugar, double-checking it, all that kind of stuff. But there's a fine line between being a support system and being an overbearing person that scares them. And I think that as long as it's like a supportive, guiding hand in the right direction, that is the way to go about it. As opposed to saying, Nope, you could only do this and you could only do that. And Oh, you have to be on every device known to man. And you, you know, and you're a toddler, here's a CGM, here's, you know, here's a pump here's well, the technology is good.

Brandon (01:13:11):
And I think that, uh, um, a Dexcom or Libris that you can read while, while your child is sleeping is really great. It also, you know, it, it, every single time you test the blood or you do an injection or you put that CGM and it, it scars the body. And over time you run out of space on your body of where you can put it. And so it's one of those things where you have to weigh the cost and benefits of everything that you do. And there is no right answer. It's what's right for you. And just because one parent does one thing doesn't mean that it works the best for you or your child. And so my whole thing is just to be supportive. And especially as the, as the child gets older and starts noticing that, you know, they're different or maybe they can't do things or they had a low and they're embarrassed, it's just, no, that's nothing to be embarrassed about.

Brandon (01:14:14):
The right people know, you know, we were, we were keeping an eye on it and, um, always having them feel included and not different is I think is very important. And then the last and the last thing that I always like to tell parents is that they are the heroes and the warriors to train their kids, how to be heroes and warriors, because, you know, they don't, they don't quite know what, what what's that like? And if you are there to be supportive and to train them correctly, how to, how to manage diabetes from a young age, it's going to last their lifetime because, um, without the support of parents, because you look up to them and then even though you don't want to listen to them. And even though when I was a kid, when I was first diagnosed, I would run. When I knew I had to take shots, I would put on pants and long sleeves thinking that, you know, I wouldn't have to it a shot.

Brandon (01:15:19):
You know, it's just one of those things that, well, it breaks your heart to have to do that to your child. It's, it's for their it's it's for their betterment and the quicker you can, you understand the body and how it works, the better off it is of no mom, dad. And so it's scary. It's not fun, but as long as you're on top of it and doing the best you can asking questions, you're you, as a parent, you are a hero and a warrior, and you're going to raise an awesome kid. That's Oh, that's always going to appreciate everything that you've done for them, because there is no other option.

Charlotte (01:16:02):
Thank you. I think that's, um, that's awesome advice and definitely, yeah, definitely beneficial to anyone who is raising a child with, um, with type one, as I said, I CA you know, I can't even imagine being a mom myself is one thing for me to have it, but I'm such a stress head. I can't imagine if, if my son had that. So yeah, you are absolutely right. But those parents are warriors as well.

Brandon (01:16:30):
And I think, um, we forget too, that kids especially are, Oh, what's the word I'm looking for? Resilient. Um, you know what I mean?

Charlotte (01:16:45):
I see that from my, my two year old beating his head off things like separate times a week, and I'm like, Oh, I'd like to be in bed for a week. If I did that to my head. And he's just like running around with an egg on his head, like he cries for five seconds and then he's like, Oh, let's do it again.

Brandon (01:17:03):
Exactly. And so, like, it's kind of like, we have to, you have to kind of take that into consideration, you know, as when they're young and as they learn it. So it's just, it's, it's a, it's a process and it's trial and error and that's okay. Nothing starts off perfect. And it will never be perfect, but you can, you can learn the regimented, um, cycle that works and then it will be as, as close to perfect as it can be.

Charlotte (01:17:34):
Well, thank you so much for sharing your incredible story so far. Um, I did just want to do a quick, so, so we know loads about you now, but these are five questions that are absolutely nothing to do with diabetes or anything medical. So I wanted to do Brandon's five faves. Okay. Number one, favorite animal.

Brandon (01:18:06):
Oh, it, I, my favorite animal is a bird and it's an Eclectus parrot.

Charlotte (01:18:13):
What power,

Brandon (01:18:17):
It's an echo echo Selectus.

Charlotte (01:18:20):
What, what does that look like?

Brandon (01:18:23):
Um, so there, um, there are these really cool parrots that are the most gentle and the, just the most beautiful wa um, type of bird and parrot. And, um, the, Oh, I might get myself confused now. I believe the males are green, but they're like a translucent green and the females are a translucent red and purple and, um, like, and they mate for life, they're just, they're just these amazing birds. And for whatever reason I have this maybe cause it's, I grew up on a chicken ranch. I had this affinity for, I have this affinity for birds and those have always just been my favorite.

Charlotte (01:19:08):
Oh, fast. Cool. Well, every day is a school day, cause I've never heard of that kind of parents. So thank you for that. Uh, favorite films?

Brandon (01:19:21):
Um, uncle buck

Charlotte (01:19:24):

Brandon (01:19:27):
John candy. I just, that, that is a, go-to hilarious. I just, I love that movie.

Charlotte (01:19:34):
Um, favorite smack,

Brandon (01:19:42):
Um, popcorn

Charlotte (01:19:44):
Pop. Okay. Any particular flavor?

Brandon (01:19:48):
No particular flavor, but I like to, um, uh, I have my, what I've found to be the trick for me is to, uh, just add extra salt. I don't know why, but, um, that's I also rug low in salt. I, I just, cause I think I drink so much water, but the popcorn, it is good. It it's, it's easy to eat. It's plain. It doesn't require much from me. And uh, it's just, it's, it's been my go-to snack for quite a while now.

Charlotte (01:20:22):
Okay. Um, favorite time of year.

Brandon (01:20:28):
Oh, definitely spring when everything kind of just opens up and it's like, Oh, it's a whole new world that I get a go it.

Charlotte (01:20:41):
Um, and favorite place. So it could be place in the world like country or, or a specific place.

Brandon (01:20:51):
Okay. So I'll be specific. So I am, I love the ocean. I live here in Southern California. I get to see it very often, but my favorite beach is LA Jolla beach in San Diego. They have the best ways for surfing. They have the, the CU they have the qu the, the nicest water and some of the nicest beaches and I could live like that would be my dream place to live and just be on the water every every day.

Charlotte (01:21:26):
Wow. I hate Pew. Um, I hate you end up there one day.

Brandon (01:21:30):
I do too. Hey, I've never heard Steve.

Charlotte (01:21:36):
Oh, well, thank you so, so much again, like just such an incredible story. Thank you for sharing it.

Brandon (01:21:44):
Thank you so much for having me on and allowing to share my story. I, I truly appreciate it. And it was so nice to meet you and connect with you and, uh, and make this happen. So thank you.

Charlotte (01:21:57):
Ah, no, thank you very much. And I, I abs I can't even say, I think I know you will be inspiring so many people.

Brandon (01:22:07):
That's good. Hey, and, uh, let me just tell people, um, if you, if you find me online or whatever, you have a question for me about any of this stuff messaged me, I answer every message. Just be, you know, it'd be specific, you know, it's not rude to ask me, like, you know, like, how did, how did this happen? Or, you know, and I, and I had a diabetic service dog and stuff like that. Like ask me about any of it. Yeah. I, I am here as a resource because I couldn't find one when I needed one and I'm and I'm, well, I can't, well, while I'm able to, I will happily be that resource based on my experiences. So feel free, feel free to contact me. Okay.

Charlotte (01:22:49):
Put your details up. When the podcast goes live, I'll make sure we've got your details for our website so people can get in touch.

Brandon (01:22:57):
Yeah. Cause it's not, it's not about me. It's about me helping other people.

Charlotte (01:23:02):
Awesome. Thank you. Well, thank you so much again, and I hope you have a wonderful

Charlotte (01:23:06):
Day and hopefully an early night tonight.

Speaker 6 (01:23:10):
Oh yeah. No, it'll be good. It'll be good. Yeah. I really appreciate it, Charlotte. Thank you so much.

Charlotte (01:23:15):
No worries. Thank you. That was hands down. One of my absolute favorite interviews. Um, I really, really hope everyone enjoyed it. Just such an incredible story and such an inspirational guy. So a massive, massive thank you to Brandon for sharing that with us. Um, I will include a link to Brandon's website and also his Instagram. So anyone who wants to know more about his story or get in touch, you can use those links as always. Thank you so so much for listening and until next time, stay happy and stay healthy.

Intro (01:24:00):
This episode has ended, but your journey towards a healthy and happy life continues head on over to diabetic and healthy.com and join the conversation with other diabetics and their families. All the information in this episode is not designed to replace the advice from the health professional team. Looking after you and your diabetes before making any significant lifestyle changes, do consult them with your doctor.

How to get in contact: