Camp Endres Junior: “The most super awesome experience”

Camp ENdres Junior 2016 group photoCamp Endres Junior 2016 provided “the most super awesome experience anyone with diabetes could ask for!” as told to me by a first-time camper. Who could ask for anything more?

This year, 56 campers and 43 staff (including both health care professionals and medical counselors who also have type 1 diabetes) enjoyed a week of coming together as one big family and had an opportunity to grow within themselves.

Campers overwhelmingly reported that what they love so much about Camp Endres is that when they come to camp, they “fit in” or they feel “normal.” At camp, everybody gets it. Everyone seems to understand the same struggles and frustrations of feeling alone and burned out by diabetes.

Camp Endres empowers campers and staff to feel like they truly matter and that having to stop to check blood glucose readings is no big deal. Everybody does it. At camp, we had several campers who put their insulin pump infusion set in all by themselves for the very first time. We welcomed campers who had never stayed away from home before because of their diabetes.

This summer completed my 23rd year of diabetes camp at the YMCA Camp Classen. And as much as fashion and food trends have changed over the years, kids with diabetes really haven’t. The struggles kids with diabetes face today are no different than they were 20 years ago, even though so much of how we manage diabetes has changed.

Kids with diabetes still feel isolated, fearful, and pressured to do better. Some feel shame. Some feel like they’re under a microscope and misunderstood—just to name a few of the emotions experienced by kids with diabetes.

It is such a wonderful feeling when kids come to Camp Endres and I greet each one of them as they walk through the door of the dining hall. We’re making a difference in the lives of so many kids. We are inspiring kids with diabetes to be all they can be. We are empowering them to believe in themselves. We are improving lives and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Campers form strong bonds of friendship

By Kim Boaz-Wilson, RN, BSN, CDE…Mother to one, mother of many

Camp EndrCampers group pices Senior, held in early July, welcomed 69 teens to a fun and impactful week. Many friends were reunited and new ones were made. For many of us, each summer camp is like going home to those we love and those who love us. It’s truly our second home… and I am often seen as campers’ second mom. A title I hold dearly.

Many young adults and healthcare professionals give their time and expertise to campers who attend Camp Endres. 

Melissa, Morgan and Natalie first began as young campers many years ago. At the time, they had no idea their friendship would grow to be so strong. Eventually, they all became camp counselors and together, have helped shape the lives of many. Here’s what Natalie has to say about it:

“I think it’s truly magical when you’ve met people that have seen you at your absolute worst and your absolute best and the love that they have for you never changes. I believe that this magical notion is such a rarity that once it is found, you have no choice but to believe in soul mates.

Camp counselorsI really really think this connection is something even deeper than a romantic love for someone. The type of soul mates I have met at this camp surpass any type of expectation or want I have ever had and because of this, it is the most important thing in my life.

When I was a camper I think I had an idea that these people would be in my life for a long time. What I didn’t know is that these people would be my lifeline, my best friends, the absolute loves and light of my life.

When I became a counselor, I had the same idea that these campers I had, would be just as important and I hoped I would make a difference in their lives. I had no idea that the friendships I had with my co-counselors that I made as a camper, would inspire my campers to form the same kind of bond with their friends.

Over the years Morgan, Melissa and I have had a lot of campers. Hopefully we’ve taught them a lot of things about their disease and most importantly, I hope we taught them something about friendship and how it trumps everything. Morgan, Melissa & I have been friends basically our entire lives. I can’t think of humans I love, trust, or care about more and it’s like I feel beyond blessed that I get to do life with them. I don’t love this disease but I love that it brought me to them.”

Thank you to all of our volunteers who make Camp Endres such a success! I love seeing the friendships formed at this camp.

Camp NoHiLo 2016

By Maddi Fowlkes, DSOK Summer Intern

2016 group photoJune 6, 2016 was the first day of the 7th annual Camp NoHiLo for children with type 1 diabetes, aged 4-10 years. Of the 60 campers attending Camp NoHiLo, three of them were only 3 years old! This was my first experience being a part of Camp NoHiLo and I could tell walking in that first day that it was going to be something special.

I grew up going to camps, but I had never been a part of a camp for children with type 1 diabetes. My mother has type 1 diabetes, so I have spent my entire life learning bits and pieces about this disease. But I’ve never really seen it from a child’s perspective. This camp is special. Not only do the children get to learn about diabetes, but their parents do as well.

Camp NoHiLo provides an opportunity for children with type 1 diabetes to learn more about their diabetes. They learn about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, what to do when blood glucose levels are too high or too low, and how food and lots of activity affect glucose levels.

More importantly, campers learn that they are not alone on the journey of type 1 diabetes.

One night after camp had ended, 7 year old camper Barrett, told his mom: “Mom, after two years of camp, I finally realize I’m not the only one who has diabetes and I’m not alone. It feels really good.” This tells us at DSOK that Camp NoHiLo is genuinely impacting the lives of these children.

Not only is the week packed full of fun for everyone involved, but these little campers overcome obstacles during camp! They are challenged to try new and different things they might have been scared to do before. Abigail, age 8, usually uses the same one or two fingers regularly to check her blood glucose. During camp she used three different new fingers!

Dylan, age 6, could not wait to tell everyone he had given himself an insulin injection. This is something he had done a couple of times before, but he was fearful to do it again—until he came to camp!

These children are sLucy and Luciao inspiring. They keep fighting and do not let diabetes stop them from enjoying and doing the things they love in life.

Camp is not only for the campers but for the parents as well. Camp allows for the concerned parent to step out of the daily routine of constantly checking blood sugars and worrying about their child. They can relax for a bit. Parents can find comfort in knowing their child will be well taken care of and loved with so much enthusiasm during the week of camp and beyond.

At Camp NoHiLo, we say, “Come and play where friends are made.” This simple statement is packed with so much meaning, especially when you actually take part in this camp program.

I am currently in college and hope to one day go to medical school and become an Endocrinologist. From my week at Camp NoHiLo I could tell that this camp changes lives. It changed mine and I am honored to have been a part of it.

Wrestling with Diabetes

By Leslie Franklin, student & staff writer at Edmond Memorial High School

Wrestling with diabetes (1) copyType 1 diabetes can affect anyone, but one high school student never suspected that it could happen to him. When Denton Huff was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he refused to give up his wrestling goals and instead overcame his challenges through hard work and determination.

When the symptoms first appeared during Denton’s junior year of high school, they were quickly dismissed as the effects of “pulling weight” (losing weight) for wrestling.

“He was very irritable, he lost a lot of weight and was thirsty all the time, but we still didn’t think anything was wrong because this was how his older brother acted when he pulled weight,” mother Deana Huff said.

Undiagnosed, his blood sugars got higher and higher and hindered Denton’s wrestling career. He wasn’t able to gain weight or grow stronger in order to be competitive during tournaments.

“I felt horrible for him,” head wrestling coach and father Darren Huff said. “Before he was diagnosed, he would get tired faster and have a slower recovery between matches.”

In fact, the situation continued for an entire year before an unrelated injury led to the doctor’s attention.

“He got hurt at practice one day, so the trainer sent him to the hospital because we didn’t know how bad he was hurt,” Deana said. “He was hit in the back of the neck so his legs and feet went numb. We really thought it was nothing but the trainer wanted us to go just in case, but I’m glad we did.”

At the hospital, multiple doctors approached Denton’s parents asking if he had diabetes. Since there was no past family history with diabetes, the family rejected the idea until doctors suggested an A1C test. The test result confirmed the doctors’ suspicions and radically changed the Huff household.

“It was surreal and scary,” Deana said. “We wouldn’t have been able to make the transition had it not been for our doctor, Dr. Domek, and Kim Boaz-Wilson of Diabetes Solutions. You have so many questions because in the beginning you don’t know anything and I don’t know how we would have transitioned without access to Kim all of the time.”

Even as Denton learned to manage his blood sugar, he refused to let diabetes hinder his wrestling. Through changes in his diet and daily routine, Denton showed discipline and resilience after a disappointing junior year of 11 wins and 11 losses. Competing at wrestling state became his goal for his senior year and he did everything possible to earn his spot at state.

“For a while I had to get used to dealing with it,” Denton said. “It made practicing harder because I had to watch my blood sugar and if it went low then I had to stop wrestling and raise it.”

Modern technology has been extremely helpful for Denton. He uses a continuous glucose monitor or CGM, which records his blood sugar every five minutes and has become a necessity for wrestling tournaments.
Wrestling with diabetes (2) copy
“Just to have the technology today makes his life so much easier than it would have been ten or even fifteen years ago,” Deana said.

After working hard to control his diabetes, at the end of his senior season, Denton was able to fulfill his high school goal of competing at the state tournament. In addition, he finished the year with 34 wins and 10 losses, 1st Team all Edmond, Tenacity Award, 4th team All-Conference, Most Team Falls, and Outstanding Senior Wrestler.

After an outstanding senior year, Denton will be heading to OSU next semester with his diabetes technology at his side. Good luck, Denton!

My Diabetes

Bill ToweMy name is Bill Towe. This year represents my 40th anniversary since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed at age 7 during a required sports physical before our little league baseball season. I never experienced any pre-diagnosis issues, it was dumb luck and timing that lead to my diagnosis.

With my upcoming 40th anniversary (June 27), I reflect on how living with Diabetes has affected me as a person and molded my life. A few specifics stand out.

Don’t be afraid

I was never afraid of it. Either out of ignorance or sheltered upbringing, I never thought diabetes would negatively impact my life. That was always the case, even though my endocrinologist would greet me by saying, “Well, you made it another year.” which infuriated my mother. I simply disregarded it. As a kid, the extra steps I endured each day were simply extra hassles that ended up becoming a part of my daily life. Today, I just think everyone does what I do each day to maintain good health—they do just what they need to in order to keep their own body healthy.

I owned it. I was never afraid to talk about it or show it off to my friends. In grade school I gave book reports and talks about it. I would show off the cool syringes and vials! I actually enjoyed the attention (go figure). Everyone knew I had diabetes and would watch out for me if something happened. Understand that back in the late 70’s, NOBODY had type 1 diabetes. I had a rare disease that most knew very little about.

Be human

I let myself be human. Being human, I did not always “follow the rules” with my disease. I broke the rules….a lot of rules, but I was always mindful when I took risks. Risks including: alcohol, missing an injection (being needle squeamish when you have diabetes can be difficult at times), not following my diet, not regularly testing, or being a typical, lazy teenager when I should have been exercising or counting carbs. These “missteps” were terrible, sure, but I learned a great deal from them.

My current doctor advises me to take the quality of life into consideration when I look to change something in my diabetes care. It’s important to be happy as well as healthy. A piece of cake on a special occasion can be fine, if I manage it.

Educate yourself

I educated myself. When I got older, I took a focused interest in what diabetes was and how it affects the body. I set up my own diets and exercise routines. I learned how certain foods affected me, how to manage calorie intake and eat measured meals that worked for me, not just ones that were published in a book. This gave me the freedom I wanted to “live.”

I found an endocrinologist that I loved…and still see him every three months. This is the key: finding a doctor that wants to understand and know me makes my ownership so much easier.

40 years later

I am 46 for another month. I have no complications from diabetes. My vision is 20/20. I am active. My kidneys are 100%. I am strong. I am healthy. I use the latest technology to control diabetes (OminiPod). This device has helped me get my A1C in the mid-5 range.

Take it from a veteran. If you are dealing with diabetes, it will not change your life if you don’t let it. With modern technology, you have the ability to live a complete, healthy, complication-free, full-length life. You can own your diabetes or it can own you. And really, I have never considered my diabetes a “disease.” The word “disease” has such a negative connotation. My diabetes is a part of me, like the color of my eyes, the tone of my skin, or the passion in my heart.

Take control of your situation one step at a time. You don’t have to do it all at once, but take that first step. I am a 40 year vet of diabetes and I am winning.

Jerry Finds Hope…

by Mom, Lindsey G.

Jerry the bearMy daughter, Hope, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on the 13th of January 2016 at the age of six. So much information and so many changes to a child’s daily life can be both scary and overwhelming.

Thanks to Kim Boaz-Wilson, Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma, and a special new friend named Jerry. Hope has been able to handle all of the big life changes a little easier!

 

Jerry the Bear has type 1 diabetes, just like Hope. He is helping her to feel a little more at ease with the multiple blood sugar check(s) and insulin injections that she now has to do daily.

When Hope returned to school at Plainview Elementary in Ardmore, Oklahoma, she was able to take Jerry with her to help explain to all her classmates what she will be doing every day and how Jerry has to do the same. The kids all thought that this teddy bear was the best thing ever.

Hope felt so special to be able to show them what she is going through with the help of one very special toy.

Hope with Jerry and class

Online Support

Marisa and familyby “Mom Marisa”

I am four and half years into my new normal with my daughter Whitney. On the day she was diagnosed I felt like my entire world was turned upside down and that I was alone. All of a sudden all the things we used to be able to do without a second thought were not that simple anymore.

Whitney couldn’t just eat like a normal kid anymore. Now there were blood glucose checks, carb counting and insulin shots before every snack or meal. Running out the door just to grab a quick thing from Walmart involved a bag of supplies at all times. Nobody that I knew had a child with type 1 diabetes.

 

Ultimately, her diagnosis cost me friendships but it also introduced me to some of the people that are now some of my closest friends. Many of these people I have never met in person. I am talking about my friends in an online support group. The group includes a wide variety of people from all over the United States as well as other countries. We all have one thing in common. We all are raising kids with type 1 diabetes.

Once I found an online support group, I realized that I wasn’t alone in my new normal. There were other people out there just like me, struggling to be the pancreas for their child. Sure, my daughter had an endo and that was great, but we only saw her once every 3 months. In between those visits it was left up to me and my husband to figure it out.

In the beginning, I had a lot of questions. My online support group was there 24/7, 365 days a year. At any time of the day or night there is a parent in the group willing to lend an ear or to help me with my current issue. These parents get where I am coming from. They know the D lingo and most importantly, they don’t judge me. I can ask a question and they will tell me what their experience has been with their child. One of the hardest things for me to learn and to accept when it comes to managing diabetes is that it’s not my fault that Whit has diabetes.

Carb counting can be done perfectly, insulin is drawn up perfectly, and still there are days where D simply doesn’t behave like it should. Those are the days that I am really glad that I have an online support group. I am glad to have parents that have managed to survive puberty and diabetes with a teenager to help guide me. They tell me that there is hope that I will survive puberty and yes she will turn out okay.

I asked my fellow D parents in group this morning how having an online group has helped them. As expected, there was a wide variety of answers. Most of them said that they don’t feel alone because they have a place to go where everybody gets what they are going through. Another mom said she lives in the middle of nowhere and this group helps her get through her days.

One mom who is just a little over a year into this said, “It was a soft place to land in a cruel and unrelenting world that neither understands this disease nor cares enough to educate itself.” That line is so very true! People look at our kids and see the pumps, CGM’S, pens and pen needles, or the vial of insulin with a syringe. All many see is Diabetes, not the child. They are quick to judge that as a parent you did something wrong. People question what you are feeding your child or how you are treating them because they confuse type 1 with type 2 diabetes.

I now belong to an online group that I have had the pleasure of spending the last two years building. We went from a few other moms and a dad to a thriving group of over 800 members. We never all agree and that is a great thing. There have been great discussions and only a few disagreements, but at the end of the day there is one thing we all agree on. Our kids can do anything they want to despite having diabetes.

There are many Facebook support groups out there. If you are interested in joining our Facebook group, contact me at marisa_bacon@yahoo.com.

Just five months later…

Diabetes check upBy Olivia Hampton

My name is Olivia Hampton. I was diagnosed 5 months ago. Before my diagnosis I was running track and field. I didn’t even feel sick. But I sometimes felt bad and never knew why. My stomach hurt. I was every emotional and sometimes I was dizzy. Since I have my sugar under control I feel a lot better.

When I went to camp I was a little nervous at first, but quickly connected with my cabin. It was a great experience for me. Camp taught me that I wasn’t alone. I learned so much that I would have never learned before.

Thanks Kim for convincing me to go to camp! By Liz Hampton

My daughter Olivia is 11 years old. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on June 12, 2015. We spent 2 days in the hospital and came home scared to death that we were going to do something to hurt our baby girl. The education we received in those first few days was overwhelming. We spent an entire week afraid, waking up every hour all night long to check her blood sugar and watch her breathe.

One week after her diagnosis we met Kim. Our experience with her was life changing. Our fears were soon put to rest and we felt like we could take our daughter home and live a “normal” life. We did not have to be afraid for Olivia and Kim taught her how to own her diagnosis and manage it with confidence.

Olivia went to Camp Endres the following month where she gained more confidence in herself and her ability to manage her diabetes. She met other kids who are dealing with the same things and developed friendships with kids that she still talks to weekly. She has a great support system, one we could never have given her without camp. She came home a new kid who was teaching us new things and was excited to share her experience.

This month, only 5 months after her diagnosis, Olivia shared her story and taught the 3rd grade class at her school about Diabetes. She spent 30 minutes teaching the difference between type 1 and type 2 Diabetes, the pathology, management and research going on now for this disease. She confidently answered questions, showed how her pump worked and did a finger stick, keeping a class of 3rd graders interested in what she is going through.

What an amazing difference in our daughter from day 1 to just 5 months later! We cannot thank Diabetes Solutions, Camp Endres staff and campers, and Kim Boaz-Wilson enough. We are so proud of our daughter and how she has managed her disease, already using it for good things. She will forever have an important story to share and has the confidence to do so. She can’t wait to return to camp next summer!

Keep kids in touch after Diabetes Camp

By Jaime Caldwell

Frontier CityWhen you dropped your child off at Type 1 Diabetes camp with Diabetes Solutions of Oklahoma (DSOK), they spent a week of long summer days bonding with fellow campers. At the last day of camp there were plenty of hugs, tears, and promises to stay in touch; promises that nothing would break that promise.

Then they went back to a busy class schedule, homework and extracurricular activities.

It’s important to encourage these kids to keep in touch because friends, like many people, are part of the diabetes management puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle is important whether you are a parent, caregiver, medical staff, or the child.

I will never forget my son’s first year he attended camp. He didn’t want to go. In fact, he was adamant that he was perfectly fine sofa surfing his summer vacation away. He had only been diagnosed seven months prior. We knew there was only one other student with type 1 at his school but we didn’t know who it was. T1D doesn’t run in our family, so he didn’t have anyone to relate to. I put the Camp Endres brochure in his hand and pleaded with him about how valuable the opportunity could be.

Two years later I can tell you that sending him to camp was the best thing that has ever happened to him. The bond he has formed with friends and the staff has given him a community of lifelong friends, not to mention in depth diabetes education. I have seen his confidence soar and his ability to care for himself improve.

What a great support system DSOK has provided to our children! DSOK lays the ground work for your child, parents and caregivers. Then they take the next step of making the arrangements to keep up communications. But in the end it is up to our kids to keep up with their friendships.

My son has had many adventures meeting up with camp friends over the last few years, adventures and friendships that would never have existed if he wouldn’t have stepped out of his comfort zone and attended camp. He has seen several plays, watched many movies, met friends at the mall, and visited the fair. He’s seen Disney on Ice, attended church, participated in a 5K Zombie run, and most recently met friends at Frontier City to walk the Trail of Fears.

My hope is to stir other parents and caregivers to take a few minutes and reach out to your child. Encourage them to plan a time to stay in contact with camp friends. These awesome kiddos give each other so much inspiration! I should also note that incorporating personal friendships into your child’s group of T1D friends should also be encouraged. The more friends the better!

So how can you encourage your child to stay in touch with their diabesties?

In addition to calling, texting, and emailing here are some (teenager approved so we know they are hip) suggestions:

1) Instagram – Create a group chat by posting a picture to a direct message and choosing one or multiple recipients. It is easy and quick! Recipients can comment on the post and the group chat begins…

2) Facebook – Simple to use and is a good tool to stay in the loop with friends.

3) Skype – If your child is young and not quite ready for a cell phone, Instagram, or Facebook, this is a fun way to video chat online. Parents you can download the free app on your smartphone or use a computer that is equipped with a webcam and let your child have some face time with friends. Skype is a great alternative to the telephone if you don’t have an unlimited long distance plan. Skype does not charge you for its video chat service. My teen uses Skype daily!

In closing, I encourage your child to utilize the referenced tools. But remember that social media doesn’t replace getting outside and meeting up with friends in person. No matter how your kids stay in touch, it is important to try and hold on to those friendships that were created over the summer. Summer camp creates not only lasting memories, but lasting relationships as well.

Taking Denial to New Levels

By Robin Munger

Munger familyOur diabetes story doesn’t begin like most other stories. It does not begin in the hospital in a state of emergency. Our son did not start his diabetes journey holding on to life by a thread while we waited and watched, terrified that our child might not make it to tomorrow.

Our story begins in our Pediatrician’s office. Our diagnosis was “accidentally” discovered during a routine well-child exam and a urinalysis our doctor does routinely at age five and not again until age ten. I will never forget our doctor of five years looking at me and saying, “Your life is about to change” and sending us immediately to an endocrinologist.

We were in a state of shock. How could this be real? Our son, Barrett, was the “healthy” one of our two children. He rarely got sick. He ate healthy foods and got tons of exercise. He is a normal, happy, healthy boy. We lived in a confused, scared state for those first few weeks, watching him like a hawk and seeing… well, seeing nothing really.

His A1C was borderline. He tested positive for only one antibody. His blood sugar numbers were within “normal” range 99% of the time. It turns out, we caught diabetes early. As much denial as I threw at it, it would eventually push back until there was no doubt we were dealing with Type 1. Instead of being tossed in to the fray that is the usual Type 1 diagnosis, we have watched, over the last year, as our son’s diabetes has slowly and steadily progressed.

In the beginning, I took the denial to all new levels. I think I truly thought I could “fix” it. Isn’t that what all mothers feel? It is our job, our duty, our responsibility to fix our child’s hurts. Make everything better. I spent many nights, up until 2 or 3 am reading and researching, looking for answers. If I couldn’t “fix” it, then what did I need to do to handle it perfectly? I took his disease on. I was going to beat diabetes.

But guess what?? Diabetes had other plans. The cruelty of this disease for me has not been the multiple finger sticks. Or the numerous daily injections. It hasn’t been learning to insert a CGM sensor and calming the fears of my son every time we insert it because it scares him. All of that is horrible. It is heart breaking. It isn’t anything a sweet 5 year old boy should have to tolerate. But that hasn’t been the worst part…..for me.

For me, it has been the absence of control. I have fed him perfectly. I have calculated carbs perfectly. I’ve made sure he drank plenty of water, got plenty of rest and plenty of exercise. Even with all of that, it’s still not “perfect”. There are times when no matter what I do, diabetes has a mind of it’s own. No explanation. No reason.

We do our best to count our blessings. We did catch diabetes early. We didn’t have to suffer through the frightening experience of DKA and ICU. Our introduction to this disease was more gentle. Our little guy has been amazing. Such a trooper. He has gone from crying every time I needed to stick his finger, to giving himself insulin shots. He has done amazingly well. I’m hoping it’s because we have tried to treat this cruel disease like it wasn’t going to control our lives.

Yes, we were going to do what we had to do to keep our son safe and healthy, but there was no way I wanted diabetes to change who he is or what he loves or what he dreams for his life. We tried to remain as positive as possible. Every time we get the chance, we point out people who are “in the spotlight” who have Type 1 Diabetes….Nick Jonas, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, MLB players, doctors, nurses….we want him to know that diabetes won’t keep him from living his dreams.

Ironically, even though I was constantly telling my son that diabetes didn’t limit his potential or change what he wanted to do with his life, I wasn’t living it myself. When I say I took diabetes on, I wasn’t kidding. I took every high number personally. What did I do wrong? What did I feed him? I would go back and recalculate insulin doses.

I tried to hide my stress from my son, but it was taking a toll on me, physically and mentally. I was living and breathing diabetes every second of every day. I was letting diabetes do to me what I had worked so hard to keep from doing to my son.

It seemed that every time we visited the doctor, we had to learn an entirely new protocol and the stress was becoming overwhelming. I had to learn to let go. I had to finally realize that no matter what I did on some days, diabetes was going to have the upper hand. I had to send him off to school and trust that he was going to be ok. I had to give in and let him eat a cheeseburger and fries. I had to let him live.
I had to give up trying to control diabetes. It has taken months for me to come to this realization. It’s something I have to consciously work on every day.

I have adopted a new mantra “Management not Control”. Control just leaves me disappointed and stressed. We do the best we can to manage diabetes on a daily basis and take the hits in stride. It’s not easy. I don’t get it right every day. But I’m trying. And when I hear my now 6 year old son say to other people with a shrug of his shoulders, “we gotta do what we gotta do to keep me safe” or “gotta do it because my mom wants me to be around for a long time”, I have to hope we are doing something right.

I have to hope that we are encouraging him not to let diabetes change him or rule his life. Maybe one of these days, he will be an encouragement to someone else. Or maybe he’ll be the one who finds the cure.

We could not manage Type 1 without the support of our wonderful endocrinologist and the amazing team at Diabetes Solutions. Their support, day or night, has been priceless. We also have the best family and friends that support us on this journey. We are taking it day by day and doing our best to just live.

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