We said no. The doctor didn't do a blood
test at that time. Seeming to think it was
something that could be solved with
antibiotics, that was what were sent us
"A few days later I was at work
when my wife, Sarah, called me saying
thath Max was very unwell. She'd been
watching This Morning with Dr Chris
Steele who had been talking about
diabetes. The penny just dropped. I came
straight home, we took Max to the GP,
who told us to go directly to Stafford
Hospital at which point he was comatose.
They got to grips with Max's condition
pretty quickly but he was in a coma for 48
hours which was incredibly scary. It was
one heck of a learning curve."
Returning to the present day, how did the
book come about? It turns out that Max's
class had been learning about books and
Max had said to his teacher, "I'm going to
make a really good book."
When he came home, he asked his
dad to help him. Says the elder Rapson,
"Max loves The Avengers superhero
characters. He said, 'I am like Ironman, he
stays alive because he made something to
keep his heart going. It gives him powers,
just like me. My pump gives me powers!'"
We started piecing together a story
and looked at ways to fund getting a
proper book actually published. We put
it on Facebook, where we now have
2,000 followers. The characters live in
Beta Town. It's protected by an Insulin
Cube. The villain in the story wants to
pinch the cube because it is valuable.
But superhero Captain Lantus is there to
protect it. The baddie is called King Carb.
As he's a kid, Max relates to fictional
characters like superheroes. He thinks
they're real. It made sense to take that
idea forward with him and his diabetes.
He'd mentioned Iron Man, and I thought
he was absolutely right."
Taking the initial idea further, the
Rapsons contacted a publishing
company, who said they loved the idea.
Then they found an illustrator. Recalls
Max's dad, "In many ways lockdown has
helped us to keep our focus. The diabetes
community has been amazing. It's been
really exciting to have such a positive
come out of what could have been seen
as a negative. It cost a bit to do, but it
will be priceless when he can take it into
school and show his teacher and friends."
Max's father explains the reason he's
gone so far supporting Max's idea, saying,
"It took me back to when Max first went
on a pump. Max's diabetes team at the
hospital fought for him to get a pump. He
was three at the time. I think we were all
very apprehensive, as well as very hopeful
about what the technology could do to
improve Max's control and his long-term
prospects. He was frightened - sobbing.
Myself and my wife felt we had to learn
everything again from scratch. However,
the diabetes team has been brilliant, they
are like friends of the family. We had all the
brochures out, all the literature spread out
on the floor, getting to grips with it. Then
suddenly, for the first time since adapting
to the pump, we realised that we don't
have to be so afraid anymore. It made life
easier for all of us."
Max and his parents are working
on part two of the story. They sold 200
copies of the book pre-launch through
Kickstarter, and it's due to be available
on Amazon soon.
"I am like Ironman, he
stays alive because
he made something
to keep his heart
going. It gives him
powers, just like me.
My pump gives me
- Max Rapson