It was over four months in the making. The finished product is almost 40 pages long. To be honest, I cannot tell you how many times I cried as I read the stories. I received so many. The story of the missed-diagnosed child that led to bigger problems upon diagnosis. A story or two also on those who passed away.
They were all needed. They were all told.
When I started this project, which I entitled “A Child’s Cry for Change”, I did not know how much my heart would be moved. I knew I was angry, angry enough not to sit by and not ‘at-least-try’ to get the attention of some decision makers to try to change the paradigm of children being missed-diagnosis, as I call it. But I DID NOT know that your stories would fuel a fire inside me that will not be extinguished.
I have wept over stories of Shayne, Paige, Lyla, and everyone else who were included in these special, contributed stories. It’s not easy when you have so many in front of you and you know what you’re doing must make sense; must have an impact; and that was my goal.
When I needed the right cover, many submitted artwork as well. This one was chosen, I wish I could have used all of them. It was created by Melissa who lives in Tennessee.
She wanted to make a difference too, like all those who submitted their stories. It truly was all so overwhelming to create. So many lives. So many stories.
The stories went into the mail. They went to the President of the United States, The First Lady, Senators who sit on the US Health Committee, Congressional Diabetes Caucus Chairs, the Americana Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors; The American Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors, the National Association of School Nurses Board of Directors, and just so they knew I was serious in my ask; I included the Heath Editors of the NY Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and a few key writers in our ‘diabetes space’.
I tell you this because many of your letters, many of your stories, were included. The stories went to them, as they came to me. They are enough to make anyone weep.
They made me weep, and often.
I also tell you this because if you contributed, you may hear from some of those I listed above. They too may want to hear your story in person, and if there was an address or email included; it was included in my report. As I stated, I did not touch the precious gifts you gave me and passed them on as I received them. It is because of this that I cannot and will not post the entire 40 page report, but know that the decision makers will read your stories.
More action will follow, say a prayer that it impacts those who receive the report enough to tell the stories further and better yet; to DO SOMETHING to better educate those that ‘the flu-like-symptoms’ could be something more.
We are only beginning. Another initiative will be announced shortly where you can help—-my friend Kim (a d-mom) and I have been working on another-sort-of-related project for almost a year and we are ready to, and will be, announcing THAT project in the very near future.
People need to know more. People who don’t know, need to be made aware that they should know. I cannot thank all of those enough who sent me personal stories. Stories that will make sure the world hears; a Child’s Cry for Change.
I am a diabetes dad.
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