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Growing Up With Type 1 Diabetes

In the years I’ve attended CWD’s Friends for Life conference, I always came away with this appreciation for what the conference provides for kids with diabetes, and their parents.  Kids – a whole bunch of them – running amuck and clad in green bracelets with pump tubing flapping from underneath their t-shirts … it’s a place where these families hopefully feel normal, and safe, and understood.

But I’m not a kid with diabetes.  I’m an adult.  (I checked, and it’s true: adult.)  I always felt welcomed at past FFL conferences, but people constantly checked for the kid at my side, because the “child with diabetes” surely couldn’t be me.  (And then there was that time that the registration lady thought Sara(aah) was my child with diabetes, wherein my head exploded.)

Growing up with diabetes isn’t hard.  It isn’t easy.  I can’t assign adjectives to it because it’s all I’ve ever known, so growing up with diabetes is exactly synonymous to “just plain growing up.”  My friends didn’t have to take injections or chase NPH peaks, but we were in the same classes and rode the same bus and went on the same field trips, so we were “the same.”  The difference, at that point in my life, was Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Diabetes Camp: How You Can Help

I loved diabetes camp. Actually, that should be in present tense because I continue to love diabetes camp, even though I’m not a camper anymore. Attending Clara Barton Camp for those five summers changed the way I looked at life with diabetes, and my health has always been better for it.

But I’ve talked about camp before. I’d love to play a role in sending other kids to diabetes camp. And thankfully, we as a community now have that chance.

The Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) is in the running to win one of the Pepsi Refresh Project grants. If they earn one, they’ll use their winnings to send kids to diabetes camps and will also arm them with digital filmmaking skills so that the campers can chronicle their experiences with type 1 diabetes. As a diabetes camp alum, a patient advocate, and the wife of a filmmaker, I think this is a fantastic idea. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Meet Marcel, The Diabetic Shell

Clara Barton Camp (CBC) is awesome — this is an indisputable fact. I talk about CBC all the time when I’m at conferences, because there is something so unique and incredibly supportive about knowing that your fellow campers are also insulin-dependent and aren’t afraid to show it.

Part of what makes CBC so cool is that it makes you feel like having diabetes is…sort of cool. Almost everyone at camp has it, so if your pancreas happens to work, it makes you the odd one out instead of part of the WYOI (wear your own insulin) crowd. What’s more empowering than taking an isolating chronic illness and making it the common — and intrinsically cool — thread? 

Which is why this video — a diabetes take on the Marcel the Shell with Shoes On — is so brilliant. It takes the Marcel the Shell concept and turns it on its diabetes head. And if you’re “in the know” with diabetes, it will make you laugh. If you listen closely, you’ll hear some of my favorite diabetes lines of all time. (Including, but not limited to: ”One time I licked a glucose tab and went into DKA.”)

It takes some serious (cotton?) balls to make this video. I love it. This video was created, voiced, and edited by the talented CBC team of Abby Bayer (who guest posted here), Savannah Johnson (her post is here), Allie D, and Alissa Carberry (I think it’s time for Alissa and Allie to post, since I have nothing to link to for them).  

What else can I say, other than this video had me in tears from laughing last night. Clara would be proud!

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

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