Parents Talking Type 1: Sue Carnicle

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.


Kendra Ferguson (R) with twin sister Kallie

Name: Sue Carnicle
Location: Salina, Kan.

I have a daughter, Kendra, who is 17. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 9.

I am a worrier and she is a free spirit. Kendra knows what she should do, but she doesn’t always make the best choices. It’s difficult for me to let go—we’ve been doing this together for almost nine years. I’m trying, and quite frankly I have no choice because she leaves for college in the fall.

I’ve been trying to let her make her own choices, even if I don’t agree with them. Fortunately, Kendra has been seeing a certified diabetes educator (CDE) on her own and has formed a relationship with her that will follow continue in college.

Kendra has been through a lot with her diabetes and other autoimmune issues. She has done things that have been great and things that haven’t been so great. The last three years have been a real struggle as she tries to fit in while having this disease. Kendra has a twin sister who does not have diabetes, so that alone is a challenge.

But she has also come so far. She has taken control again and we are seeing good results in her A1C. It was as high as 11 percent, but it is now at 8.2. I’m hopeful that she will continue with this downward trend.

I believe if Kendra would just be herself and be willing to talk about her disease (like she did when she was first diagnosed), she could help other children not make the same mistakes she has made. Kendra is creative and she has learned ways to make diabetes management work for her (when she wants it to). I believe that knowledge would be beneficial to others. I’m waiting for the “light bulb” to go on for Kendra. I think it could happen soon.

If you’re a parent new to type 1, don’t give up. Educate yourself and your child constantly. I also recommend finding a support system for both you and your child. One other huge note, be your child’s best advocate at school.

Also, attending Diabetes Camp was wonderful for Kendra. Kendra attended the American Diabetes Association’s Camp Discovery in Wichita for several years. I hope to have her camp t-shirts made in to a quilt!

I believe in Kendra probably more so than she does. I just hope she hears my voice from time to time next year. And I also hope I can refrain from having too many anxiety attacks while she is gone!


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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