My Child Can’t Do That…Today I Ask You To Share That They Can…and Do!!!

Bonnie and daughterI have friends of mine who live in New York.  Bonnie and Howard have a son; and a daughter who lives with T1.  Years ago, Bonnie informed me that her daughter was pretty athletic and that she played hockey.  Sounding like I was ‘up’ on these type things, I stated that field hockey can be a grueling sport.   She said; “Not FIELD hockey, ICE hockey.”


Girls and ice hockey?  Now don’t beat me up yet; it was just something that I never thought of because I did not know.  It had nothing to do with what I did or did not think a woman could do……it was just something I had not heard of before.  There is a lesson here about always being open to learn new things or; on how it is important to understand that people do not know things–just because they do not know; but I will save all that for another day.  Today is about doing…….doing things in-spite; despite; with; while; doing it WITH T1 diabetes.

Bonnie’s daughter six days a week (in-season) gets out on the ice and plays hard while managing her T1; she was diagnosed in ’09 at the age of 11.

This story happened years ago and I have since become a huge fan of the sport and actually when it comes to the Olympics, I enjoy the women more than the men.  It’s more action and it’s about the game and not beating each other up.  Bothers me a little that we always seem to come up just short of the Gold.  Our friends up north in Canada surely dominate; and I remember screaming at the TV a few years ago watching our ladies go down in the Gold Medal Game.

Now I’m not sure what Bonnie and Howard’s daughter will do moving forward about playing hockey; but I loved Bonnie’s response when I asked her how they manage her daughter’s diabetes.  She told me what her daughter does and then she said, “…..we do nothing different from any other family handling diabetes; we do what we have to do to get it done; she gets back out on the ice.”

She gets back out on the ice.

So although I am speaking about the Martin Family in New York today; today’s article is about all of you.  Share what you do, to get your child “…back out on the ice.”


Because a mom and/or a dad is out there today with a child dealing with diabetes.  New perhaps, perhaps for years; but on this day diabetes is getting the best of them.  So like the Martins shared with me—-add your story of what your child does every day while dealing with diabetes.  Today YOU INSPIRE someone else—-nothing is too small and nothing is too big….but share…….you could change someone’s life today.  Why talk about celebrities…..when our inspirations are right under our roof.

Today I ask for your story of inspiration.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

22 replies on “My Child Can’t Do That…Today I Ask You To Share That They Can…and Do!!!”

My son Andrew is 17 years old. He was diagnosed on May 9, 2011. We were fortunate enough to meet Chris Jarvis, a gold medal Canadian rowing Olympian about a month after diagnosis. He changes our lives and I am forever grateful to have met this incredible role model. My son continued to play rep basketball, participates in orienteering meets, has become a certified swim instructor, and has attained his Bronze Cross and Bronze Medallion. This summer, he will be working as a Camp Counsellor at a diabetes camp. He is a role model for other kids, and I am so proud of his attitude, motivation and willingness to live life to the fullest. Yes, there have been challenges but the impact of role models such as Chris and many other athletes is so critical to believing that anything is possible.

I don’t have a child with diabetes, but I AM a diabetic – for 50 years now! Diagnosed before glucometers or pumps existed, I don’t know how my parents managed, but manage they did. I started giving myself shots (the big glass kind – disposables weren’t on the market then), when I was seven. I graduated from college while holding down a full-time job, and enjoyed a 20-year career in county government before my husband’s career change took us to Florida, at the same time that I became the 6th islet cell recipient in the country. Although my cells eventually failed, the DRI gave me hope that I was very much going to live a long life, and I began a new (and successful career). More importantly, at the ripe old age of 49, we adopted a gorgeous infant. She is thriving and now in kindergarten and knows the terms “diabetes”, “low blood sugar” and “machines” (her word for my pump and CGM). Life has not always been easy (diabetic retinopathy almost took my sight; great docs and 2 surgeries restored it), but I work, drive, love and laugh just like my 5 non-diabetic siblings do. In short, I live a productive, active life. My mantra comes from a poster I had in my room as a teenager: “Disease has taught me much about life I never would have learned in any other way” (author unknown to me). Hang in there, parents. Your children are stronger, more resilient (and in some ways, healthier) than the average child, and their world will be better for it. <3

NWOW—-hearing from one of my heroes is always a GREAT DAY!!!!! Thanks for chiming in Rita—–I hope you and the family are doing wonderful in your new ‘diggs’. Much love always.

Tom I was diagnosed with type 1 when I was 5 years old, and let me state here that the management of type 1 has changed for the better and beyond all recognition when compared to my early treatment. My parents where as supportive as they knew how to be and you must remember that we did not have the luxury of online communities at that time and home monitoring of blood glucose levels did not exist yet, we were still measuring urine for glucose and guessing how much insulin I would need. By the standards we adopt today this was a very crude way to manage diabetes but it was all that we had.

In my early twenties I became very active and in my spare time I was teaching kids to rock climb, abseil and kayak whilst pursuing my education at university. After leaving university I joined a karate club where I trained 5 days out of every 7 for about three years before moving to another city meant that I could no longer continue with that style of karate.

In my late twenties my career was really taking off in every sense and just after I got married I found that my job was taking me all over the world. I got to the point where I would keep an overnight bag in my car and my passport because when I left the house each morning I did not know what country I was going to be in at the end of the day. Life continued this way for 4 years before we decided to start a family and I wanted to be home to be with my new family.

My daughters are now 10 and 12 and I am grateful that they do not have type 1 but I watch them constantly for symptoms. In the last few years as my children have developed a little more independence and with the support of my fantastic wife I have been working with a number of diabetes charities in my spare time, including INPUT Diabetes a small charity that advocates for people with diabetes who are struggling to get access to insulin pumps and this work takes me into parliament where I help to shape the governments policies on diabetes. I now do some public speaking at events for both Diabetes UK and JDRF to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and to reassure parents and young people with diabetes that it is going to be OK and I am chair of the organising committee of my local JDRF Walk for a Cure.

I continue to push the boundaries of what I can achieve and just after I turned 40 I decided to start running and the same year I ran my first half marathon, my aim was to run 13.1 miles and to do it without having hypo before, during or after the event. I spent months training for this recording my timings, heart rate, insulin levels and carbohydrate consumption and I developed a strategy which allowed me to fulfil my goal, I have used this same technique many times since. However, perhaps the biggest personal achievement that I have is that on mid summers day in 2014 as I watched the sun rise I did so with tears of gratitude (and pride) in my eyes, for together with 16 others who have type 1 diabetes we had successfully made medical history as the largest team of people with type 1 diabetes to summit Kilimanjaro – I had been diagnosed for 37 years at that time.

Earlier today I had great reason to celebrate as my new book “type 1 diabetes and how to live with” was published and printed copies were delivered to me. However, this celebration aside I am right now preparing to coach a group of people who have type 1 diabetes and want to train to run a half marathon and in just about an hour we will be having a web conference to talk through strategies for managing your blood glucose level during an endurance event like this, I can’t begin to tell how excited it makes me feel to help others who are living with type 1 diabetes.

My daughter, 8 years old, is an irish dancer. She loves to do it and never lets diabetes stop her! Its pretty high impact, she routinely checks her blood sugar during class and then keeps on trucking along.She is also involved in Girl scouts. We try and encourage her to do anything she wants and she does!

Our son Ryan was diagnosed at 2 years old. He showed an affinity for sports early and we have encouraged and supported his involvement from the start. The “support” part is very important because we all know this disease takes a sophisticated level of management. And for our kid’s to participate, we (the parents) must be willing to take this on. He is now 16 and is largely self managed and does a great job of it (sub 7 A1C’s). We made it a point to introduce him to as many T1D role models as we could, many of them elite athletes, and this has set the bar for possibilities very high. Ryan has played team sports, run long-distance endurance races and now is a surfer, open-ocean paddleboard racer and pole vaulter. He has learned so much about his disease through managing in these arenas. Here is a video he did recently showing some of his ocean training and sharing his thoughts on diabetes.
Thank you for what you do Tom!

Every day my daughter does everything her peers do, plus probably more sports than they do all while testing her blood sugar, correcting highs, slurping juice for lows, checking whatever device is beeping at her at any given moment, calculating carbs and administering boluses! Game days we “pow wow” about how many carbs to bolus for (she is 9 and still learning to consider all situations re: her diabetes). She plays any sport she can and we just make sure we have enough sugar and smarts to get her through the games and practices. We track trends (every sport seems to affect her differently) and make our best educated guess about what to do. We try not to say “no”. Instead it is “How are we going to make this happen?”. Because, as we all know, diabetes doesn’t care if you want to go to a sleepover. Or if you have a game that night. Or if your friends are over. It demands attention. But she does not allow it to take over. It is dealt with and she is off to the next practice, game, assignment, play date…. SHE CAN.

Our daughter Jessica, is now 20 years old, was diagnosed T1 at age 7. Our mantra was always “You may have diabetes, but diabetes doesn’t have YOU.” She has proven that over and over again. She has been an excellent student over the years, was an officer of her school’s National Honor Society, graduated salutatorian of her class, and for the past two years has been on the University of Dayton’s dean’s list.

She never let diabetes keep her out of the game, either, whether it was basketball, which she played every year of her school career, or softball, which she has played every summer since she was seven. Travelling to weekend tournaments, playing two and sometimes three games a day, was a little challenging to balance with blood sugars, but she did it with ease. She continues to play summer softball, and also intramural sports at UD.

Do I wish she never had diabetes? Every day. Has it made her an incredibly strong person? You bet. She is my hero. Just like another poster here, she will be sharing her knowledge and positive attitude with other diabetics as a Diabetes Camp Counselor this summer. I hope they see how strong and determined it has made her. She hopes to join the medical field as a PA in the future, and I could not be more proud of her and how she handles diabetes every day.

Amy—Jess is an inspiration and mentor to all T1s who meet her. Thank you for posting her story. Love you and your Family.

Thank you for the great articles… you are well written….My 10yr old daughter was diagnosed a year ago at 9. She is a performer. Sings, dances, acts etc. My red flag was her in a play and peeing on stage as she could not hold it. We went to find out why. Since we walked out of the hospital I have moved forward with her desire to get a NYC manager, and agent and to persue her dreams. I didn’t want her to think she was different. We have traveled back and forth 4 times this year so she can audition for broadway shows regardless of T1D. Traveling isn’t easy with T1D, security, and highs and lows. There were times casting kept her for few hours and I thought I would die with worry not knowing if they were dancing and the sugar was dropping. The heat of NYC in the summer made her sit down on the cement with a low as we didn’t know she would drop so much from just walking two blocks. A tap class drops her 100 pts… and often there are 2 back to back. I just think it’s a very very difficult thing to manage and I do most of the managing… but I would gladly be upside down for her to feel her life remains the same. Of course it isn’t with needles and middle of the night wake ups but she is always pressing on… asks to be taken to this audition and that one or fly here or there and says that the reason she was diagnosed is that one day she will be famous and can help raise awareness, find a cure and show others follow your dreams no matter what is standing in your way.
She sang this at the JDRF walk here in South Florida 2 wks ago…

Thank you for your wonderful story; of course my ‘previous life’ on stage and TV in NYC has educated me on how grueling this life is and my hats off to anyone pursuing their dreams. best of luck in all that you do. Thanks for sharing.

My son who is 17 and about to graduate from high school was diagnosed when he was 10 and in the 5th grade. I mourned what I knew his life would never be — carefree. But as soon as they let us out of the hospital after the diagnosis, my husband and I set up to embrace T1D for the sake of our son. It was our new normal! Mason participated in marching band all through high school! When he first was a freshman, I remember worrying that he would pass out on the field in the middle of a show, but he NEVER did! And the activity was wonderful for him and he took to it like a duck to water. He will be heading off to college this fall to be in the marching band at his college. It’s a well-known band in the south and he is looking forward to it. He is in the best place he can be in terms of his independence with his own care. I am sure there will be bumps in the road (there have been so far, one hospitalization for DKA when he was a freshman and one scare when he was a junior) but he never looks at his diabetes as a disability! I had to BEG him to take the special accommodations for the SAT. He never wants anything special. His T1D is his normal! I am excited for him and his future. There are many blessings in the world of being a parent of a T1D! You can do anything you want to do! 🙂

My son is 18 and is getting ready to graduate high school. He was diagnosed at 8 years old. From day 1 in the hospital and after we got home he has handled his diabetes and care of it like it was no big deal! He has played 3 sports in high school, football, wrestling and track. Football is his favorite and he has been playing since 5 the grade. We always handled all the lows and highs as needed, never freaked out over any number just fixed and moved on. Some days at football this was a huge task when he was younger but I wouldn’t trade a minute of it! Today he is MDI after going off the pump so he can have better tighter control. He works out everyday, works at a local Seattle restaurant and is headed off to college to play football! He has been picked as student of the month, athlete of the month for a local magazine and has been given the honor of scholar athlete all this year! I have confidence that he will take care of himself as I have seen the growth and maturity that type 1 has taught him. He told me he embraces his type 1! I remember clearly the first day he was diagnosed and he asked me ” why god gave this to him”? Through my tears I told him “God has a plan for him and he would see it clearly one day”. He wants to make a foundation when he’s done with college to help mentor small children with type1 to teach them they can do anything with diabetes, he wants kids to be happy and not upset or depressed. He is my hero as I see that his day is not as simple as mine but he does it so much better than me!

“He is my hero as I see that his day is not as simple as mine but he does it so much better than me!”—–Love this line….and surely they do…they ARE all amazing. Thank you for writing.

My son Jaxson is 6 and he plays hockey too!Although, being diagnosed changed our routine we didn’t want to take away doing things he had previously done. He skates as hard as the other kids on his teat and is one of the top players. We do have to check bg’s throughout the games and practices but it doesn’t stop us. We love hockey. It’s in our blood. It must be a Ny thing. He wants to try lacrosse now too. I say bring it on! We can do it!

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