We’ve received so many stories in the past year to support the Stop Diabetes® movement. Some of the most heart-wrenching stories I’ve heard from people whose lives are affected by diabetes are not from the people with diabetes, but from their parents. While I have type 1 diabetes, I am not a parent and I cannot even begin to imagine what it’s like to be the parent of a child with diabetes – regardless of whether that child is five or 50 years old. I wanted to share a few of these here because they inspire me to keep doing the work I do, to keep living my life to the fullest, and to keep my own parents informed about the state of my own diabetes.
Della, multiplied by three.
“Diabetes has affected our lives three different times. Each of our boys all under the age of 16 have been diagnosed with diabetes. I want to stop diabetes for them. I want to end their fears and pain, which come along with diabetes.”
Jennifer wants to challenge the world to a whole new way of thinking.
“We have money for wars, we have money to support religious causes, we have money for people in the entertainment industry. Why not teach these awesome kids and adults that life is precious – that their quality of living matters to us. For now, we will live like there is no tomorrow and hope and pray that there is a future to stop diabetes.”
Jackie lives with type 1 diabetes – she’s just not the one taking insulin.
“I live with diabetes. I’m just not the one taking the insulin. My daughter has had the disease for 5 years – one-third of her life. I want to make sure that she is not tethered to an insulin pump or subject to multiple daily injections forever”
Adriana’s daughter lost her eye sight, but stays strong.
“It’s been two years now that she is legally blind, she’s been through operations and disappointments and for us parents it’s something that you just can’t describe how your heart aches every time you see her because it’s a constant reminder of everything she’s be through but, out of all the negative things that diabetes brings, let me tell you that two years ago after she lost her sight she married a wonderful man – he loves her deeply and encourages her every day – and she is expecting a baby boy by March 2011. My daughter Cindy is an inspiration for a lot of people and for me she is my HERO.”
Michelle worries about what will happen years into the future.
“When I asked Julia why she wants to stop diabetes she said, ‘so other people wouldn’t have to get shots or have black fingers from the tester.’ After four years of testing on her little fingers ten times a day her fingertips are turning black. This is something she thinks is important… For me the most controlling thing about diabetes isn’t the diet or lifestyle change – it’s the fear and anxiety I live with every day worrying about what will happen to Julia years down the road”
Elna knows there’s no time off from diabetes for good behavior.
“I will not stop until we are able to wipe this disease off the face of this earth! Why do I feel so strongly about this? Because it is such an insidious disease, because these kids and adults who are insulin-dependent, never have on moment off, no vacation from the constant daily barrage or having to be on guard and do so much to keep a balance in their lives. No time off for good behavior, no end to what they are going through, no time when it goes into any kind of remission – it is relentless, and it takes its toll…. I will not rest until there is a cure.”
Damisha knows that “what am I supposed to do now?” feeling.
“Mekhi was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age five. I cried, why my child, I didn’t have any knowledge about the disease and what am I supposed to do now… When Mekhi looks up at me and says, ‘Mommy when will diabetes be over?’ what can you say?”