OKLAHOMA CITY - The many "get well" cards and balloons are a testament to the many lives Mason Harvey has touched.
After a year-long, national health and fitness crusade, the Guthrie teen became critically ill with flu-like symptoms.
"I tried all the routine remedies, Saltine crackers, Sprite, the usual stuff for a sick kid," he said. "Friday I knew something really bad was going on."
Mason was rushed to OU Children's Hospital.
He was dizzy, nauseous and lethargic.
He spent three days in ICU.
Mason's mom, Julie, said, "We couldn't understand how a healthy kid, he's been healthy, he's been athletic, all this stuff and all of the sudden, boom. He has diabetes. Where did that come from?"
According to the CDC, 13,000 young people are diagnosed each year with type 1 diabetes and the numbers are increasing among US youth.
The pancreas can't make insulin, causing high blood sugar.
Doctors said, if diagnosed properly, type 1 diabetes can be easily treated and managed.
Dr. Sownya Krishnan said, "That's very important for everyone to understand; it's a treatable disease. You can live a healthy productive life. Diabetes should not prevent you from doing anything."
Mason is getting the skills and training to handle a lifetime of insulin shots and dietary adjustments.
He hopes to use diabetes as another tool to reach even more at risk kids.
Harvey said, "We've been eating healthy for a year now; it's not going to hold me back. Keep on keepin' on!"