Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Her Speech (When Kids Talk To Kids)

My oldest daughter is speaking to an elementary class on the topic of type 1 diabetes today. 

One of the students that was diagnosed over Christmas break just returned for the first time to school.  Besides his backpack, he also had to bring along his brand new type 1 diabetes diagnosis.  To help ease his transition, the principal and teacher thought it might be nice to have an alumnus of the school (ironically, one whom also had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes while attending there) speak to the entire classroom about what having type 1 diabetes means.  The hope is that it teaches the rest of the students to not fear type 1 diabetes but to embrace it and ultimately, go back to just seeing their classmate as a regular little kid.

Here is oldest daughter's speech, which I can proudly say was written all by herself.  As a ten year old, her grasp is rather amazing and I am in awe of her grace, acceptance and courage to talk about a topic which is so personal.  Instead of fearing her type 1 diabetes, she has embraced it and is willing to show the world that she is just like everyone else... one cool kid!

In her words....

Does anyone know what Nick Jonas from the Jonas Brothers, Jay Cutler from the Chicago Bears, Rock Star Bret Michaels and Crystal Bowersox from American Idol has in common with me?
Well, if you can’t guess… it is Type 1 Diabetes!
My name is xxxxxxxx and yes, I have type 1 diabetes.  I have had it since I was 8 years old!
When you have type 1 diabetes that means that your body can not turn the extra sugar in your body into the energy that your body needs!   Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease where your pancreas stops working by itself and you have to use an insulin pump or shots as your pancreas.  A pump looks like a phone or an iPod, but it is your pancreas outside of your body.  Shots are needles that can be filled with insulin too.  Insulin is a hormone that causes cells in the body to take up sugar from the blood.  Getting insulin in a shot or a pump does not hurt but you have to do it every day and whenever you eat, so that you can have lots of energy and can keep your body running smoothly.
There is another thing about type 1 diabetes and that is that you have to poke your finger to get tested.  This is called checking your blood sugar.  When you have poked your finger then you apply the blood droplet on to a tester strip (it looks like a cell phone with a pokey)! Once you have done that, your number will show up on the screen.  The blood glucose that you want is anywhere from 80 to 200 is good but I’m not saying that 201 is bad!  If it is too low, I eat something and if it is too high, I give myself some more insulin.
You can NOT do anything to get diabetes. It just happens and no one can catch it.  Scientists think it may happen because of our genetics and maybe from the environment too.  But no one knows for sure.  The funny thing is that I have type 1 diabetes and my sister has type 1 diabetes and my 2 friends have type 1 diabetes and my neighbor has type 1 diabetes … so I guess I’m trying to say  that type 1 diabetes isn’t that rare! 
Lastly just because you have type 1 diabetes doesn’t mean that it will stop you from doing what you love.  You can do ANYTHING you want with diabetes!  I play soccer, I hang out with my friends, I can eat anything that I want and I even go to sleep-over camp! 
Just like you, someone who has type 1 diabetes is pretty cool. 

If you have any questions please ask me now!



Rose Ann said...

So wonderful...and it brought tears to my eyes. Way to go, R!! ☺

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

Aw! Thank you! It made me tear up to witness her courage and grace. She is having a great year and quite possibly, it is because of having such good friends surrounding her. Actually, I KNOW it is! Thank you for being YOU!