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New study for Type 1 diabetes detects the disease early in local toddler

Sanford Health has recently started a PLEDGE pediatric study to identify and predict who is at highest risk for Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. After going through with the study, the Erdmann familhy discovered their three-year-old son has Type 1 diabetes.

Ezra Erdmann, 3-years old, lives with type one diabetes after an early detection for the disease.
Finn Harrison / WDAY News
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FARGO — Sanford Health is now doing a study, screening children, to identify and predict who is at highest risk of Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.

Doctors with the study say one in every 250 people will deal with Type 1 diabetes. With Type 1 diabetes the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, which is necessary for breaking down food.

In 2018, The Erdmann's from Fargo learned their son Samuel was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at Five years old.

With no long-running history of diabetes, his family had no suspicions, just a condition that they say came out of nowhere.

"Without it being in the family, we were definitely surprised," said Samuel's mother Lindsay Erdmann.


Following the diagnosis, the Erdmann's welcomed a new son to the family named Ezra.

A year and a half went by and a message came to the Erdmann's My-Chart account about the PLEDGE Study screening children for celiac disease and Type 1 diabetes.

"We knew that this was something that we would be interested in once we read about it. We signed up, someone reached out to us, and got us set up for the study," she said.

The diagnosis was Type 1 diabetes.

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"We were very sad that day, but we wouldn't necessarily do it the other wa,y because we are prepared for it and you can avoid a lot of health issues by knowing in advance," said Samuel and Ezra's father Jon Erdmann. "When we first found out, it wasn't fun, but we are glad we did it."

Ezra, now three-years-old and still living the life of a normal toddler, has a great chance of good health thanks to early detection.

"We are able to monitor his blood sugars and watch those subtle things before he even started having symptoms, which allowed us to get started with treatment," said Sanford pediatrician Dr. Brenda Thurlow.

Anyone with a child five or younger and has a Sanford primary care provider can get involved with the study through their My-Chart Account.

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