SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) – November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and part of raising awareness about the disease is knowing that it can impact anyone at any age.

Life looks different now for the McLain family. Seven-year-old Hudson McLain was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes earlier this month.

“I was very upset and sad. I was scared for him, but as a mother…you didn’t want to show that in front of him,” explained Hudson’s mother, Stacey McLain. “It was originally my mother who noticed the excessive thirst, and the frequent urination…and then going back we realized other signs. He complained of his head hurting a lot, he complained of his stomach hurting a lot…and those are actually signs of Type 1 Diabetes.”

Stacey said her son has to wear a glucose monitor 24/7. He also has a cell phone that sends alerts to his family when his blood sugar is high or low.

“People think too with Type 1 Diabetes – everything needs to be sugar-free. That’s not the case. With Type 1 Diabetes, you look more at the carbs. It’s not like we can just run through the drive-thru, hand it to him, and he can eat it. Now, there’s a lot more planning that goes into it,” added McLain. 

McLain said that they always have to be prepared before they walk out the door.

“You have to make sure you have your insulin, syringes, alcohol wipes, an emergency kit in case he goes low, emergency insulin in case he’s unconscious or unresponsive,” said McLain. 

By sharing her story, Stacey hopes other parents will educate themselves about the disease.

“Educate yourself on the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 before commenting to someone that has it or has a child that has been diagnosed. Yes, it’s serious and yes, it’s hard and it’s life-changing but he can live a normal life,” said McLain. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019, nearly 29 million people were diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. The CDC adds that Type 1 Diabetes affects about 283,000 children and adolescents younger than 20 in our country.