Memories of Faces of Diabetes

As promised months ago, I have been working my fingers off trying to get my website ready to publish in a fresh new look. To say it has presented challenges would be an understatement. I have lost weeks of work.  I have found coding errors that I never knew existed and I have a LOT of data!  Nonetheless, I am still hoping to have it up and ready to publish in the very, very near future. 

Yesterday I tackled one of my more challenging pages–the Faces of Diabetes Page.  It contains stories that I collected back in 2005 of people living with diabetes. As I looked at code, changed pictures and updated a few notes, I allowed myself a bit of time to read through some of the stories.

First, let me say that almost seven years later, many people could still make me cry! The raw emotion and the openness with which they told their stories were nothing short of amazing.

The other big thing that struck me was how long I have known some of you! I was shocked to realize that its not just my son who has grown since I first asked for these stories.  So many other lovely children who were profiled are now young adults. 

Finally, I was surprised to truly realize that I connected with so many of you at the beginning of your journey with diabetes.  Over the years we have become friends.  We have listened to each other’s frustrations and victories.  Time passes but I always remember how blessed I am to have “met” so many of you.  Its incredible to see how far we have all come.

I would love to add more stories to this page. Please, consider sharing your journey with me.  For those who have already shared, come back and look at your story.  They will touch you I guarantee!

Faces of Heroes

Recently Reyna of Beta Buddies posted a great article on her life as a pancreas. I was worn out just reading it and then realized that it mimicked a lot of what our life has been for more years than I can remember. I began to think that maybe I should try that, to write out a description of my life. I still might but not today.

In viewing what her family does each day, I also realized something about my own attitude towards diabetes care. It has always been a “suck it up, Buttercup” kind of thing.  When I inject a site and he complains, I will tell my son that it wasn’t that bad–not that I have ever injected myself with an infusion set but, get over it kid! When I ask him to lance his finger again to give me more information, I don’t think, Dang that’s gotta hurt. I just think, its more information for me to keep him healthy. 

I am not really so cruel that I don’t care about his pain.  I have to depersonalize it so that it doesn’t overwhelm me. Since that fateful day in March of 2000, I swore to do whatever it took to keep my son alive.  His life was a gift and I would work hard to protect it. Poking and prodding him at all hours of the day seemed to be a far better option than what I had seen on March 17th. There was no going back if I could help it.

One of the first Canadian pilots with Type 1 diabetes

With all of this swirling through my head, I began to further think of the people who will say that their children are their heroes. Not just the children living with diabetes, but also the siblings that support them. I have been slowly working on a new look for my website.  I am changing pages, making things fresh and looking at adding new sections. Years ago I created a campaign called “Faces of Diabetes“.  It was printed and bound and then presented to politicians to show them the real “faces of diabetes”.  These were everyday people and their stories.  Some made me cry and some gave me hope but the common theme was that they were all working hard to make the most of their lives with diabetes.

Cameron has lived with diabetes for most of her life

I then began to think that maybe the Faces of Diabetes should also have a new section–Diabetes Heroes. I decided to see if this had already been done.  A quick Google search led me to an AccuChek site that showcased Oskar Minkowski and Elliot Joslin.  This was not what I was looking for. They were dead and I was looking for real people who have been heroes in their own right. I was looking for the sister who has raised money for diabetes awareness because her younger sister lives with the disease.  The little boy who bravely injects himself with insulin so that Mom and Dad can go out on a date night. To me, those are the heroes to be recognized.

So here is my challenge to you…send me those stories (and ask your friends to do the same)! Provide a picture, when they were diagnosed and of course why you think that they are heroes.  I will then provide the page to showcase them. If you want to add yourself but don’t feel that “hero” works for you, please help me add to the Faces of Diabetes page.  Those people are still heroes whether they realize it or not.