4-year-old Sumter girl uses latest technology to manage diabetes

BY DANNY KELLY danny@theitem.com
Posted 12/2/18

Four-year-old Sumter resident Olivia Klingshirn was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 21 months old, but she hasn't let that stop her from running in races and traveling around the world.

Thanks to the wearable Dexcom G6, Olivia and her …

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4-year-old Sumter girl uses latest technology to manage diabetes

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Four-year-old Sumter resident Olivia Klingshirn was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 21 months old, but she hasn't let that stop her from running in races and traveling around the world.

Thanks to the wearable Dexcom G6, Olivia and her family can track her blood glucose levels without having to prick her finger. A small sensor placed on Olivia's lower abdomen continuously sends her glucose levels to her parents' smartphones and smart watches.

"We calibrate it twice a day," Mike Klingshirn, Olivia's father, said. "We see trends, and it's 100 percent wireless."

Olivia has been on trips with her family to Chicago, New York, Germany and Iceland, where the family has run marathons to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Olivia did not participate in these marathons, but she did run in the Kiawah 5K last weekend and has completed the Tuomey five-miler twice.

However, when the family went to Iceland about a year ago, they were very grateful to have the Dexcom G6 on the flight.

"Her blood sugar was low, and we couldn't get her enough juice, so we used an emergency sugar pen," Olivia's mother, Isabel Klingshirn, said. "Without Dexcom, we wouldn't have known where her blood sugar was. We were above the Atlantic Ocean, so it was very invaluable to have at that point; we're very thankful for this technology, and it's a great resource for anyone with Type 1 diabetes to have."

When the family runs in marathons with JDRF, they call themselves Team Olivia to represent what they are running for.

"I like running with Team Olivia," Olivia said. "My favorite thing is running."

Also, Olivia is now no longer afraid when she gets her blood drawn; instead of saying "I'm sorry" when she would cry, she now says "I'm brave" to keep herself strong.

"When they took the blood out of my muscle, I said, 'I'm brave' and I didn't even feel it," Olivia said.

Olivia's family has gained a lot of inspiration from Olivia in the past few years.

"When we first heard she had Type 1 diabetes, we were crushed," her father said. "Olivia has an uphill battle forever, but you should always turn something into a positive. JDRF and our doctors said don't put yourself on an island and make a team out of it. The warrior spirit in Olivia motivates others to run marathons."