Journal entry by MARY-ANN BOWMAN

This post is written by Mary-Ann, aka Grandma. Future posts will usually be authored by Bethany or Galen.

I am in Boise from Montana to provide any/all support I can for Galen and Bethany because that is how I help Berkeley. It is Galen and Bethany who are engaged in the difficult daily tasks that are -- and I mean this literally -- keeping that child alive.

Low blood sugars are life threatening.

And so Galen and Bethany are pricking her finger around the clock to get blood for the glucose meter to tell the story of what is happening with Berkeley's blood sugar. Overnight those sticks are every two hours but during the day, when her activity is more, testing is more frequent.

Think about the emotional toll of worrying for your child but also having to poke a two-year-old with a needle all day long and make her eat when she is not actually very hungry. Berkeley is being a serious trouper but I can tell you this -- she gets it from both of her parents.

In addition to caring for Berkeley, Bethany is nursing and tending a newborn, with all the demands and sleep deprivation that entails. Galen is working and finishing his MBA while also taking the night shift with Berkeley and providing care and support for his little family. They are both exhausted, worried, stressed -- and inspiring.

I started this Caring Bridge page because my professional expertise happens to align with this family's current situation. That means I know well that friends and family so want to "do something" but are unsure how to translate those sentiments into help that is tangible and useful. 

Absent the Magic Wand, the best thing friends and family can do when a child is facing a challenging medical crisis is to rally around her parents. Galen and Bethany can only provide optimal care for Berkeley when they are well-supported and free of as much burden/concern as is possible. 

There are many ways you can help, and I have identified some on the "Ways to Help" section of this site. However, if you have an idea for more personalized help or a question about what else they need, please feel free to email me: sontag.bowman@gmail.com. You may also email if you want to know where to send a card.

Your thoughts, prayers, and good wishes are appreciated. There is no expression of caring and support for this little family that is insignificant.

Thank you for caring.
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