Parents Talking Type 1: Charles Pennington

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.


Doran Lee Pennington

Name: Charles Pennington
Location: Highlands, Texas

My son Doran was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11. It scared me to death.

For the first two years, I thought he could never leave my sight. School field trip? I was right behind the bus all day. Little League baseball? Every practice and game, we tested every half-hour. With friends playing catch in the street? Not without your glucose tablets!

I was a MESS.

Not until Doran left for college was I able to just let it go. I had to. He is now 19 and he just finished his freshman year at the University of Texas in Austin.

If your child has symptoms resembling a 24-hour virus or food poisoning, demand a simple blood glucose test when you take him or her to the doctor. Our primary care doctor initially sent us home to nurse a tummy ache. A few hours later, we were in ER with a blood glucose reading of over 700 mg/dl! This was followed by a week of intensive (and very AWESOME) care at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

Your child with diabetes needs to know that he or she can still do everything they have always done—and more. ALWAYS involve your child when you calculate mealtime insulin dosages. They need to know when and why you are changing any carb-to-insulin ratios, things like that.

Establish a good relationship with your local pharmacies and your insurance company, and take advantage of Patient Care Advocate services if they are offered by your employer as part of your benefits.

Take a look at research studies that may be offered by hospitals or universities in your area. They almost always provide insulin and supplies, and they will pay your child for the additional finger sticks and paperwork required for the study. This approach has helped us along the way.

And, by the way . . . Doran’s first year on his own, his A1C went down .5 percent! So there is hope.


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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