I spend a lot of time talking about our team.
For our family, team is a critical concept. We find that we are most successful when we have people surrounding us that want the same core values for our daughters. It used to be 'Kids First, Diabetes Second' and we stuck with that as our mantra throughout the toddler and young child years.
As we enter a new stage of life, we are evolving into fostering an environment that allows happiness, growth, independence and successful T1 diabetes management. In a nutshell, we are preparing to transition our girls into a life that includes high school, college applications and one day, a dorm room. Yes, that is right... we are basically leading our children into care that will one day allow them to have a sleep-overs every single night for four years! We do need a team to help us through it or else I need to prepare to sleep on their doormat and I am way to old for that.
As we move forward, I am coining this time of life as 'Teen T1d'. I'm sure that it will be a big eye-roller in our house (because that is what teens do), but we need something new to remind us of what we are trying to accomplish.
We couldn't do this alone either.
Enter Solara Medical Supplies and our friend, Jeff. We met several years ago at a JDRF breakfast. The meeting was one of those HUGE epiphany moments for me as a parent of two newly diagnosed daughters. After asking who our supplier was and trying to comprehend that we had approximately four suppliers with around eight monthly medical package deliveries/pick-ups (pump supplies, lancets, meters, strips, cgm supplies, plus insulin and thyroid medication) for two children, he quickly stepped in and suggested a better fix.
As someone who had adjusted her home life around waiting for the UPS driver and mailman, it was incredible! I had no idea that life could be, ahem, simplified. Not completely simple, because after all, we still had to manage T1d in two small children.
For our next delivery, our new streamlined process allowed us to receive one big box every three months with one smaller pick-up at our local pharmacy. Best of all, I was free to go about my day. On top of that, Jeff helped us set up a re-order phone call and later when that was cumbersome, an email reminder for supplies,
As the years have rolled on, Jeff has been at every local JDRF and ADA event, meeting and greeting parents, children and teens. He made it summer tradition to volunteer, using personal time, at our local diabetes camp. He also spent hours planning and coordinating special events for families. All of this just to take the focus off the daily grind of injections, pokes and yes, even supplies. A great story surfaced from his boss with the gist being that Jeff does what he does because he is not only fabulous at it but because he wants to make sure it is handled properly. Trust me, there are very few people in the world that can claim this sort of skill and I am glad that Solara found it within Jeff.
Case in point, when I started mentioning ideas of needing a teen group for the Teen T1d, Jeff was the first one to jump into action with ideas, enthusiasm and much-needed charisma for kids that are often too shy or awkward to participate. He explained that he had wanted to do something like this for five years. He wanted to see teens (and really kids of all ages) excel in life and the best way was leading the charge on giving them a safe space to learn, grow and thrive. After weeks of planning and one very successful event premiere, our committee of volunteers high-fived. Next to us, Jeff just quietly cleaned up - reviewing the day's event and already planning the next teen event.
With Solara, it isn't just Jeff either. It is the entire company he represents. From Alan to Kim and all in-between. Each person, even if they are not touched personally by T1d, feels a deep kinship with the families that they service.
Before I wrote this piece, I asked Jeff if it would be OK. Once again, he had formulated a plan on helping our family with managing T1d. And once again, I was more than grateful to be able to rely on his expertise to help us get through a difficult situation. I told him that I wanted to share to all of my readers of how instrumental Solara Medical Supplies has been throughout our journey as a way to thank him for his kindness and help.
Jeff graciously said thank you, but also said he would do what he does even without a spotlight. He is just that kind of guy.
Thank you to Jeff and the entire Solara Medical Supply team. The Naturally Sweet Sisters couldn't do it without you!