Awareness & advocacy · JDRF

What T1D IS.

Type 1 Diabetes makes you stronger.

I vividly remember sitting down to write my Christmas cards in 2014 and thinking, “I’d do a Christmas letter, but nothing ever changes in our life!” I was sitting pretty comfortably with my husband of 12 years, our 10-year-old boy who hated getting in trouble and did everything he could to stay out of it, and our little Yorkie-Poodle who was always by my side. Little did I know that six months later I would be knocked off my comfortable little stool and handed a situation that could have turned our world completely upside down. While Luke’s T1 diagnosis did knock me down for a bit, I did not let it turn me or my world upside down. I made a choice. I could let T1D destroy us, make me feel sorry for us. Or I could get right back up and start living life again. Yeah, things are different. Sometimes even hard. But it’s those trials that make us stronger. It’s been amazing to watch Luke over the past year, as well. I love that he didn’t let T1 destroy him, either. He still takes honors classes and makes 3s and 4s in them. He still loves piano and cello and works hard at getting better at both instruments. He’s taken on swimming and has already smashed several of his own personal records. What’s that statement? What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger? That is definitely true in our case.

Type 1 Diabetes grows you closer together with your family.

This first year after diagnosis, Joel, Luke and I have depended on each other more than we ever have before. When one of us feels like we can’t do it any longer, the others hold us up. I can’t recall one time when we were all in a slump at the same time. In addition to the three of us, our extended families have been so understanding and willing to learn right along with us. They aren’t afraid to ask questions, to offer to help, to offer support and pray for us daily.

Type 1 Diabetes grants you a second family.

I’ve told you about our many T1 Communities, whether on Facebook or within our local community. When we meet someone else who has T1, we have an instant bond. They get it! They know what we are going through each day! We aren’t afraid to approach someone else when we notice “the bag,” a pump, or a Dexcom sensor on a stranger’s arm. When we were on vacation this summer, I noticed a Dex on the back of a new mom’s arm. I approached her (yes, me, the one who does not voluntarily make small talk) and showed her Luke’s arm as he swam in the pool just inside the glass wall. We didn’t speak long (thank goodness… whew!), but we had that instant bond. Even introverts like me get excited about that.

Type 1 Diabetes gives you a new passion.

As soon as Luke was diagnosed, I googled to see where the closest chapter of JDRF was to us. Much to my surprise, it was just next door in South Bend. We weren’t able to go to the One Walk Kick-off last year because we were on vacation. However, we did participate in the walk itself. Ever since that day, I have been a bit passionate about getting the word out about JDRF and what it’s all about. (As if you didn’t know that already?!) I’m sure there are people who get tired of me talking about JDRF and fundraising and all… but until my kid can leave the house without a bagful of supplies, I’m going to keep on going!

What is Type 1 Diabetes to you?

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