ENDIA is delighted to be able to introduce you to our beautiful new ENDIA logo baby, Kalara. Now that ENDIA has recruited all 1500 participants, Kalara has helped to make our ENDIA baby come to life!

Baby Kalara poses as the ENDIA logo. Credit to OMGimagery.

To share a little more about Kalara and her family, we caught up with Kalara’s mum, Sam, to chat about her experiences with type 1 diabetes and their involvement in the ENDIA Study. Here is their story:

Sam was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 16 years. She remembers coming home from high school craving sweet things and feeling pretty “off”. Unfortunately, her diabetes was diagnosed as a result of going into DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis; a serious condition that occurs when the body breaks down body fat for energy resulting in high levels of sugar and acids in the blood called ketones). Sam spent a week in intensive care to recover and receive diabetes education.

But Sam is not the only person in the family with type 1 diabetes. Two years ago, her eldest son, Koda became very ill with vomiting. When Sam checked his blood sugar levels, they were at 24.3, and Koda was rushed to hospital. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 9 years of age.

Baby Kalara with big brother, Koda.
Koda has type 1 diabetes.

Sam couldn’t recall any particular illnesses or problems before either she or her son were diagnosed with type 1. At first Koda did really well with the diagnosis. Sam had involved him in her type 1 diabetes management since he was very little, so he was a very aware little boy. But as he is getting older (he’s 11 years old now), he is starting to question why he has it. No one else at his school has type 1 diabetes, and he doesn’t want to be different. However, Sam has found him researching information about the condition; how to cope with it and what can be done to treat it. His latest discovery is pig pancreas transplants! Sam’s not so sure about that… but is encouraging of his inquisitive young mind to find out more.

This was one of the reasons the family became involved in ENDIA; to find out more. Sam and her partner, Dusty, were informed about the ENDIA Study when Sam became pregnant. Both her Endocrinologist and Diabetes Educator encouraged them to consider participating given Sam’s family medical history. Not only do Sam and Koda have type 1 diabetes, but Sam’s paternal grandparents also had type 1 diabetes. Once Sam learned about the study, she enrolled during her second trimester of pregnancy.

Mum, Sam, has type 1 diabetes. She and her partner, Dusty, enrolled Kalara in ENDIA to help the study find out what causes the condition to occur.

Sam found her pregnancy with Kalara a little easier than her previous pregnancy. Due to increasing insulin resistance, and several hyperglycaemic episodes, her healthcare team facilitated a CGM and a pump to help with monitoring and insulin dosing. Sam was very pleased to have far fewer needle pricks!

Baby Kalara was born a little earlier than expected in July 2019 via an emergency c-section. Sam developed pre-eclampsia (characterised by high blood pressure and impaired blood flow to the placenta). As you can see from our beautiful photos, both mum and baby are doing really well now.

Sam said “yes” to ENDIA, not only for the interesting information she is learning for her and her son, but also to help benefit other people. So far, Sam has had three study visits with her ENDIA nurse. This includes two visits during pregnancy, and one around the birth of her baby to collect important samples such as the placenta, cord blood, and first baby poop!

For all those with type 1 diabetes, Sam wants you to know, you’re not alone. It is especially more difficult managing diabetes during pregnancy, but the benefit far outweighs the difficulties when you first meet your baby. “There are good days and not so good days with diabetes, but we deal with it, and we get through”.

Special thanks to Michaela from OMG imagery for releasing all these stunning images for ENDIA to use. Sam said Michaela only had a two minute window to take the amazing photo of Kalara as the ENDIA baby. As any typical baby would be, Kalara wasn’t quite as calm and serene as she seems in the photos during the photoshoot. But the result was wonderful.

Kalara gives us a cheeky little grin.