This is the question I asked myself as I looked at the many attendees at the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Annual Meeting who stopped in to the presentation of the incredibly knowledgeable Susan Weiner and myself at our missed diagnosis of T1D. People believe that speaking in front of a large crowd is easy for me, in reality it is not, for reason that those who are close to me understand. It is even more daunting when the audience is full of professionals. REALLY SHARP PROFESSIONALS.
The week before I was to speak I reached out to two parents who lost their child to this disease being misdiagnosed and to fill them in on what was happening. It is always a stark reminder to me that this work should not, and will not, stop for me until the paradigm is changed to a direction where each and every person showing stomach virus like symptoms (and more) are checked for elevated blood sugars.
What makes it easier for me to present is when I reflect on each and every person I have met in this battle who has a child who and is no longer here because a simple blood check was not done. I also reflect on the many people who have joined this fight, and have been in this fight, long before we have arrived where we are today…….but make no mistake; the surface is barely scratched.
Presenting at AADE allowed a very unique opportunity. Hopefully, and eventually, every state will hear the message and carry the banner. The list keeps getting longer of those who help and when it comes to AADE, Susan has been my mentor and guide through the maze of people more educated than I could ever become and true community leaders. My thanks to her are endless.
I also know I have a story to tell……..and as long as I have a breath in me, the story will continue to be told………it’s owed that much energy, and more, to Kycie, Reegan, and the so many more who can no longer fight for themselves. Are you still in the fight? Because we surely need everyone willing to spread the word. Let’s not wait for the next Kycie or Reegan to happen to say, ‘this is horrible’. Let’s get rid of ‘horrible’.
I am a diabetes dad.
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