For a Griswold, Iowa mother, her toddler requires constant care. He's only 2-years-old, and he was just diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
"Ready, Set, GO!" said Markus Palmer.
Every day is "go time" in Markus's world. Sadly, this little boy's playroom is often in a hospital.
"The last six months, we've been hospitalized 28 days." said Markus's mom, Brooke.
It was back in September that Markus Palmer's world changed forever.
"He had an increase in thirst. He slowly started losing appetite and was more lethargic. He wouldn't even walk by himself. He had to be carried everywhere." said Brooke.
Brooke said she learned her son had Type 1 Diabetes, and auto-immune disease.
"It was a rollercoaster. You wake up and you’re happy because he’s there for another day but then you go to be crying because you struggle because of what you have to go through during the day." said Brooke.
What's remarkable, is what a trooper 2-year-old Markus is. He helps his mom get ready to check his blood sugar level...and never sheds a tear when his finger is poked.
"I think the highest we did was 28 finger pokes in one day." said Brooke.
Alice Jardee, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Chidren's Hospital, says the statistics aren't dramatically jumping for kids under five with diabetes, but...
"I feel like we are seeing more of the younger kids." said Jardee.
And with toddlers-unlike adults-the symptoms all come on very fast.
"In your babies under two, you are looking for diapers that are really soaked, excessive thirst, and sometimes lethargy." said Jardee.
All symptoms Markus's mom first noticed. He will have to deal with Type 1 Diabetes the rest of his life.
"You can’t cure it and you can’t really fix it, you have to manage it. And the chronicity of it is what’s so difficult for families." said Jardee.
"Obviously every parent wishes for a cure. We don't want to get our hopes up." said Brooke.
Until then, she says she will teach her son how to stay healthy and take care of his little body.
Brooke has started a Facebook page called "Markus New World As A Type 1 Diabetic."
The family has also started raising money for a diabetic alert dog. Brooke says this would give her great peace of mind since she has to check Markus every few minutes.