Parents Talking Type 1: Kaprice Dal Cerro

By American Diabetes Association

Diabetes is a disease that affects the whole family, especially when a child is diagnosed. Parents of children diagnosed with diabetes face overwhelming, and sometimes frightening, questions such as: How can I strike the balance between caring and hovering? Will she ever be able to eat sweets again? How will I ever be able to let him go out on his own?

This is the latest in our occasional series from parents of children with diabetes, illustrating the emotions, challenges and successes each family faced upon diagnosis.


(L to R) Jake with brothers Nate and Max

Name: Kaprice Dal Cerro
Location: Chicago, Ill.

My son Jake was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 6 and a half. He was in first grade at the time.

He had been changing both physically and emotionally for months, which we attributed to growth spurts. But one day, he was having labored breathing, so I contacted our pediatrician. Since it was the middle of December and he had issues with croup before, I thought for sure we would do our normal routine: go the doctor, get a breathing treatment, then head off to the ER for a chest x-ray to rule out bronchitis.

As it turned out, the problem was much more than that. I never suspected a diagnosis of diabetes.

When we were finally seen by an ER nurse, she could smell the sweetness to Jake’s breath, which led her to take his blood glucose reading. It was off the charts: 656 mg/dl. Jake had DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), so he spent six days in the hospital: two days in the ICU and four more days in the hospital learning all we could about how to care for our child with type 1 diabetes. He was a trouper through the entire process.

Looking back, I realize Jake was showing what I now know are the signs and symptoms of the onset of diabetes (weight loss, consistent thirst, frequent urination, sudden bedwetting). Had I known this, I would have had him to the doctor a lot sooner. But there is no going back, only moving forward.

For my family, I chose to face diabetes head-on. I never felt this was a “life sentence,” but rather just a new way of taking care of our son. I decided we were going to manage the diabetes and not let the diabetes manage us! I have personally found that there is never the “right” balance for anything in your life, but rather you make decisions to help balance the needs of everyone in your life.

Jake is very proactive and does very well with his diabetes management. I felt it was important to share everything we learned about diabetes with him in ways he would understand. I personally chose not to hover, but I do have a very active role in his everyday care, as does he. I felt it was important for him to learn what his body is telling him, and how to react accordingly. He needs to be his own advocate when I am not around—and most importantly, still be a kid!

Will my son be able to eat sweets again? Absolutely! I chose not to limit his food choices, for fear that one day he might feel the need to binge when he is away from me and not know how to handle the consequences of his actions. This has worked well for us. He now makes educated decisions and thinks twice about what he eats. Does he still enjoy “junk” food—sure, what kid doesn’t? I allow him to get it out of his system, but I also don’t leave too many of those temptations around the house.

If you are honest from the start about the effects of diabetes, your child will be a better-informed individual who feels like he or she has a voice in diabetes care. That makes them part of the care team, which leads them down a better path to wellness.

Jake is now 12, healthy and living a very active and fulfilling life. Thankfully we have never had to be admitted into the hospital again for diabetes-related issues.

Here’s to finding a cure one day for every person living with diabetes.


Chief Apostle Shelia Benjamin~Inusah

About Chief Apostle Shelia Benjamin~Inusah

About Apostle Shelia Benjamin~Inusah C.B. Helping Hands Ministries Founder/Overseer / Business owner / Nurse, Friend, Apostle Shelia Benjamin~Inusah, a small town country girl with a big heart. That big heart didn’t go unnoticed by God. At age 8; Apostle Shelia made the most important decision of her life. She decided to follow Christ. It wasn’t long before she heard the calling of God upon her life to reach the lost at any cost. To touch lives, one person at a time. By age 15 she was actively ministering to many in her community. From the young to the elderly, and even the dying; she has made it a priority to care for the souls of those in need. Today Apostle Shelia leads the C.B. Helping Hands Ministries team on a greater call. A call to reach the lost not just in our community but also around the world. C.B. Helping Hands Ministries and Apostle Shelia have become the vessel that God is using to bridge the gap between generations and touch the hearts of a lost, and dying world. Daily she ministers to the homeless, battered women, suicidal people and at risk youth among others. As a John Maxwell certified coach, and speaker she travels the world adding value to others. She is dedicated to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and helping others see their true potential. With a never quit attitude and unwavering faith, she has been able to build C.B. Helping Hands Ministries and testify of God’s provisions and unfailing love. Making sure to always give God the honor and praise. She motivates young adults like none other. She has become a renown inspirational speaker like none other. She is real, she is alive, she is on fire and excited about transforming, and adding value to others.. She is new, real, and a breath of fresh air. Called, and anointed for such a time as this.
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