12 Days of Giving: New diagnosis just a bump in the road for ambitious family


“It’s kind of a numbing feeling to get that call from your spouse, and I remember just verbatim; it’s etched in my memory the exact words that he said.”

Matt Polk was calling to tell his wife that their daughter, Hailey’s blood sugar was high. The mother of four children, one already diagnosed with diabetes, knew it could very well be possible that one of her other children had it as well. On March 2nd, that possibility became a certainty. Hailey was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. 

“Diabetes type one means your pancreas does not work,” says Hailey’s dad, Matt. “You are dependent upon insulin that has to be injected by a shot or a pump and you have to maintain your blood sugar levels.” 

The idea was daunting for Hailey: “I realized I’m going to have to takes tons of shots a day and it’s not going to be fun because I don’t really like needles.” 

While she says a lot was running through hr mind when she first found out, Hailey now believes the changes have been manageable. 

“After I eat, I have to go to my purse and that has all my supplies in it. I have to dose myself, and every couple of hours I have to go to my purse and check my blood and stuff,” adds Hailey.

Hailey says the biggest struggle is watching what she eats to make sure her blood level stays in check. Her family and friends have been supportive; friends help remind her to check her blood throughout the day. Aside from her new routine, which includes checkups at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, Hailey says kids with diabetes are just like every other kid.

“They’re not much different or anything. They’re pretty much just the same except for little changes, like extra things that they have to do.” 

“I’ve told my daughter and son that they can be anything they want, you know, it should never impede them on anything they want to do in life,” adds Matt.

Hailey’s checkups are made easy thanks to Children’s Hospital of Illinois. That care wouldn’t be possible without generous donations from people in the community. Children’s Hospital of Illinois’ annual Radiothon is coming up December 8th and 9th. John Riley from 93.3 The Drive will broadcast from the Children’s Hospital live from 6:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. those days. You can make a contribution in-person or over the phone by calling (309) 624-GIVE. All proceeds are used to serve the needs of pediatric patients.

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