Sophie handles Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis with grace - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Sophie handles Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis with grace

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

Curtis and Mandy Bisek describe their eight-year-old daughter, Sophie, as "outgoing" with a "kind heart." 

When Sophie started losing weight and becoming lethargic three years ago, they knew something was wrong.

"Obviously, your first thought is it's just a phase," said Curtis Bisek. "As a parent, you go through different phases with your children, and you learn to adapt through each phase, but this one was very, very different."

Curtis and Mandy were not the only people to notice Sophie's changes.

"I went to my grandma's house, and she noticed that I was losing a lot of weight," said Sophie Bisek. "So, then she told my mom and dad."

"Your mom actually said to us, 'There's something. Something's not right here. This is not Sophie.' So, it was the next day we made an appointment with the doctor just to have things checked out," said Mandy Bisek.

The Bisek's went to the appointment expecting a prescription or a simple answer that would bring their Kindergartener back.

"It was a pretty quick diagnosis," said Mandy Bisek. "At the check-in with the doctors when they came back with the test results pretty quick--we were in shock of course."

The doctors diagnosed Sophie with Type 1 Diabetes and immediately admitted her into Gundersen Hospital.

"My dad's like, 'What?! That can't be right,'" Sophie Bisek.

"I couldn't believe it," Curtis Bisek said. "Of course you don't, you know, think it could happen to you."

Curtis and Mandy spent the next three days learning insulin to carb ratios, how to give Sophie shots, and what to watch out for on food labels.

"It was such a whirlwind of information in learning how we were going to keep our child alive," Mandy Bisek said.

The journey really began for the Bisek family when Sophie left the hospital.

"I have such a vivid memory of coming home from the hospital and the first meal that I prepared was pancakes for breakfast that morning," said Mandy Bisek. "And I remember physically shaking thinking about food so differently now and how it impacts our daughter's life."

"We've all had to adapt, but at the same time, we've tried to keep it together as normal as possible," Curtis Bisek said.

Fast forward three years to 2018. Sophie's parents say she continues to face Type 1 Diabetes with strength.

"She's been well behaved, extremely educated for an eight-year-old being three years into a diagnosis," said Curtis Bisek. "If I had to describe how she is handling this, it would be with grace."

Sophie can perfectly describe the disease to anyone who asks. Her parents say that is proof her diagnosis made their daughter grow up too fast.

"It is when this thing inside of you called your pancreas," said Sophie Bisek. "It pumps a thing called insulin which helps keep your blood sugar stay leveled, and sometimes that doesn't work."

Children's Miracle Network helped Sophie hang on to her childhood by funding her trip to Diabetes Camp.

"We had heard how wonderful of an experience it was that the kids with diabetes were now in the majority finally, instead of the minority," said Curtis Bisek.

The experience proved not only educational for Sophie. It was an opportunity for her to meet other people her age living with Type I Diabetes.

"It's been a wonderful thing that we plan to do every year," said Curtis Bisek.

Sophie is not just a girl but a hero in her own right with the superpower of hope--hope for a cure.

"I have lots of hope, and I have to keep telling myself that I have it or I won't," said Sophie Bisek.

"Technology and research is coming fast and furious in the Type 1 world right now, and it makes it exciting to look forward in her young live and know that there's probably more to come," said Mandy Bisek.

Instead of getting a shot before every meal or snack, Sophie wears an insulin pump that uses a continuous glucose monitor. The Bisek's say Children's Miracle Network funds make that technology possible for their family.

Curtis and Mandy say they have been overwhelmed by community support. They say they are "humbled and honored" to be selected as a 2017-2018 Hero Family, spending the year telling their story and educating others about Type 1 Diabetes.

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