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Max’s diabetes diagnosis revealed a brain lesion

Patients

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For 12-year-old Max, the pesky problem of having to constantly empty his bladder led to a diagnosis of diabetes at Children’s Colorado in 2012.

Unlike the more common diabetes mellitus (type 1 and type 2), diabetes insipidus (DI) is not related to blood sugar control and insulin. DI is characterized by extreme thirst and expulsion of very large amounts of urine. Patients suffering from DI usually have some sort of malfunction of the pituitary gland.

After that diagnosis, doctors ordered more tests, including an MRI. The brain scan was conducted to rule out the possibility that something else was disrupting his pituitary gland and causing his constant need to void.

Lolly Block, Max’s mother, remembers getting the phone call about his MRI results the evening after the scan. “It was devastating. They told me Max had a lesion on his brain,” said Lolly. “Your whole world just stops.”

This was the beginning of what would be a long and taxing medical journey for Max and his family during the next 9 months.

Max underwent a craniotomy to biopsy the tumor. Results confirmed that he had a rare disease called Langerhans cell histiocytosis, which caused a non-cancerous tumor to grow and interfere with Max’s pituitary gland and kidneys. To shrink the tumor, Max immediately started a treatment plan that included 29 rounds of chemotherapy.

Two years later, Max is healthy. The support he received during treatment has inspired him to give back— Max donated his allowance to Alice’s 36 Hours for Kids radiothon last year. Max is our 2014 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion.

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