12-year-old gets new technology for managing diabetes

Eversense implant allowed for swimmer in Winter Park

By Kirstin O’Connor - Reporter/Anchor

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A 12-year-old girl living with Type 1 diabetes has becomes one of the first children in the country to receive a continuous glucose monitoring implant.

In June, Claire Goodowens talked to News 6 about the need for advanced technology for kids with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. 

Since her diagnosis in 2018, Goodowens and her family have been working with her doctors to get medical devices that would allow her to swim competitively. 

"Dexcom' they hurt. Yes it's only every 10 days, but they hurt," Goodowens said, referring to the “Dexcom G6” a glucose monitoring system that communicates with an insulin pump using Bluetooth for 10 days. 

The Bluetooth technology was unreliable for Goodowens during her swim practices. Her mom, Samantha Goodowens, spent hours every day sitting at the side of the pool with lancets, test strips, and blood glucose meters. 

Every day Goodowens pricked her fingers about 20 to 25 times. 

Until now. Goodowens was just selected as one of the first children in the United States to be approved for the Eversense 90-day continuous blood glucose monitoring system.

"It's proof that the Special Diabetes Program is working," Claire Goodowens said from her living room. 

The new implant in her arm will provide readings of her glucose levels, in and out of the water, with vibration alerts if her numbers are dangerously low. 

Goodowens said in order to get the Eversense, she and her doctors had to go off label and a family member paid $1,500 out of pocket because it’s not covered by insurance. 

This week, Goodowens is traveling with the Central Florida chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to press lawmakers to continue the Special Diabetes Program.

“If it wasn't for the Special Diabetes Program I wouldn't have my insulin pump, I wouldn't have my Dexcom, I definitely wouldn't have had my Eversense,” Goodowens said. 

She said the fight is also to combat the rising cost of insulin, after seeing stories of other diabetics rationing the lifesaving drug. 

With insurance, Samantha said her family pays $1,000 to $1,500 a month for her daughter’s insulin and medical supplies.

"We're going to fund research and hopefully a cure," Goodowens said. 

 

Copyright 2019 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.