Parents Talking Type 1: Annie & Hannah
We recently asked our Facebook and Twitter communities to send us their stories—specifically, what it’s like to be the parent of a child living with type 1 diabetes. Having received a lot of wonderful stories, we’re excited to present these favorites on the blog every week.
We hope you’re as inspired by these personal stories as we are, and that you’re willing to keep the conversation going. Tell us more in the comments!
Name: Annie & Hannah
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Hannah was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on April 10, 2013.
I am constantly telling Hannah, “We are never guaranteed tomorrow. If something was to ever happen to me or your dad, I have to know that you will always take care of your body so that you can live a long, fulfilling life.” She always reassures me that she will, and then we hug.
The biggest challenge we have when attending school is that others don’t understand how serious type 1 diabetes can really be. They think it’s a diet issue even though my daughter is in great shape and athletic.
Before the school year started, the principal asked if Hannah and I would like to come talk to the sixth grade staff about the gadgets she uses and wears to care for her diabetes and stay alive. This was extremely important to us because it’s an opportunity some parents would beg for and never get.
My advice to parents with newly diagnosed children is to get involved ASAP! Sign up for anything and everything you can so your child isn’t embarrassed to ask for help and help others with diabetes. Whether you ride a bike, walk or volunteer, it’s important to do something.
We signed up for Tour de Cure a month after Hannah’s diagnosis and she is now an ambassador for our local event. She’s also raised over $8,000 in two rides! We are really looking forward to our third Tour next April; it will be Hannah’s “diaversary.”
As parents of children with diabetes, we can feel bad for them or we can let them be even more amazing with diabetes and be an inspiration to others. I encourage Hannah to stay active and fight like a superhero. She loves to say, “If God brought me to it, he’ll bring me through it!”
The American Diabetes Association’s Safe at School campaign is dedicated to making sure that all children with diabetes are medically safe at school and have the same educational opportunities as their peers. To learn more, visit http://diabetes.org/sas.