When youngest daughter turned 3-years old and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (t1d), there were no other children in her preschool with t1d. (There was one kind secretary with an adult t1d daughter but that is an entirely different story. I still can't help but smile when I think of her wise ways of teaching me how to start this journey!)
The following year, at age four (fall birthday), our youngest daughter started kindergarten at our local public elementary and yet, still no other kids living with t1d.
By her first grade, I was wondering if we would always be the 'only family'... and while part of me hoped so - since no child should ever live with t1d - a part of me wanted her to have a friend to share and connect with.
In the ironic way that often happens in real life, our oldest daughter was then diagnosed. Which meant that we had a 'friend' for our youngest. You can imagine the mixed bag of emotions that was presented to all of us on that fateful day in December. If you want to read more you can click HERE.
However, our family had the only two children with t1d in the school. Which once again, you can imagine the mixed message there... surely, our family was doing something to cause this problem in both of our children. Looking back, I think that period marked the time that I really decided to advocate for a cure and to dispel the nonsense that the general public thought about how type 1 diabetes was caused. IT IS NOT FROM FEEDING MY BABIES SUGAR, PEOPLE!!!!!
Another year more and another child - for the first time outside of our family- was diagnosed. I remember crying the day the news came in and surprisingly feeling every bit as sad as hearing of our own children being diagnosed. I also remember my youngest daughter excitedly wanting to meet him and wondering if he needed her help. Although, my oldest daughter had moved on to middle school, it was she that came back to her old elementary school to talk to his class about type 1 diabetes - bringing a flurry of excitement and coolness to the younger kids, whom many wished for their own insulin pump, just like hers.
Fast forward to today... our youngest is starting that same middle school that her sister was at just two years ago. The secretaries told me that there are six kids enrolled at the school that are diagnosed with t1d.
Our oldest daughter is entering junior high and from our initial 504 meeting, the assistant principal shared that there are six kids dx with t1d as well.
I know the odds are that someone would have been diagnosed. It is inevitable. We haven't found our cure - YET.
However, in our small town, in just these two schools, we went from 1 to 12. Those are not my kind of odds.
We need a cure.
And if you want to donate to help us reach that cure, please consider purchasing a Naturally Sweet Sisters t-shirt. The sale will close on September 1, 2013, so this is the last chance to own an original shirt. $3.00 of every shirt will go directly to JDRF. CLICK HERE TO ORDER
Or feel free to donate directly to JDRF by helping our Walk to Cure Type 1 Diabetes under Team Naturally Sweet Sisters. CLICK HERE TO DONATE