Awareness & advocacy · family · JDRF · T1D 101

One big family.

The day Luke was diagnosed, and we were all settled in to our temporary living space, I quickly learned what an incredible, amazing, HUGE support system we have as a Type 1 family.

09 123 georgetown train

As soon as we left the doctor’s office with the official diagnosis, I called four of the most important people in my life- Joel, my parents, and my sister. (Joel then called the other two most important people in my life- his parents.) Joel was ready for us when we came home to pack a bag to take with us to the Emergency Room. My parents met us at the ER. My sister told me to call if I needed anything. Joel’s parents lived 4.5 hours away, but left as soon as they could and met us at the children’s hospital.

mark and carolyn

I don’t remember at what point in the day, but I also texted Kari, who was the mom of a former student. Her younger daughter, Kaeclin, was in my class almost two years prior and had been diagnosed with Type 1 for just over a year at that point. Her older daughter, Khylin, has been in school with Luke since first grade. Kari was awesome- she offered advice, answered questions and passed along several sources of information. She and her husband even brought their family (including Charli, Kaeclin’s diabetic alert dog!) up to the hospital the following day for a visit, bearing a bag full of “awesome things to have as a Type 1 Diabetic.” It was so nice to just sit and talk to a family that understood exactly what we were going through. That summer she was my go-to for T1D questions. I vividly remember texting her to ask how many carbs were in an ice cream cone from our local ice cream spot. (Priorities, right?)

14 09 T1D hospital shepards

Kari also added me to several Facebook groups dedicated to parents and caregivers of Type 1 children. I thought I’d list the three I visit most often below, just in case there is a Type 1 family who needs a support system themselves. There are some amazing moms, dads, and grandparents in these groups!

Moms of T1Diabetics Support Group (Central Michigan to Central Indiana)

Parents of Type 1 Diabetics

P.O.K.E.D.- Parents of Kids Experiencing Diabetes

One last group that has been extremely supportive of us is our local JDRF Chapter. We filled out contact information while we were in the hospital and it wasn’t long before I got an email back from them, inviting us to a get-together later that summer and letting us know that we can always contact them if we have questions. JDRF has been a huge part of our journey, including local get-togethers and even coming to my classroom to educate my 4th graders about Type 1.

27 02 one walk

Of course, we have others who very much support us by checking in on us to make sure all is going well- friends & family, church & school families. We are so fortunate. They all make being a Type 1 family so much easier. Like I said, we are one big Type 1 family.


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