Siblings Day…..I Wrongly Associate with More than One T1D Child

It is National Siblings Day.  When I first heard this mentioned many years ago, in the early 2000s, it made me think of my own brothers and sisters.  Counting me, we are six in number with JoAnne as the oldest and myself as the youngest and only 7 1/2 years among us all with no twins made us pretty unique.

Years later this phrase of ‘Sibling Day’ had a different meaning when our second child was diagnosed with T1D.  Talk about unique.  Everyone refers to the new normal when a child is diagnosed, but when 2 out of your 3 children are diagnosed, ‘normal’ takes on a whole new meaning.  Areas once reserved for some diabetes supplies are given entire shelves.  Some supplies that took up shelf space now own half a closet.

I really do not know why I associate a day put aside for sibling love; and made it about having more than one child with diabetes, but I did.  Anyone else do this?  I’m SURE it’s wrong but in my mind I have associated the two for years and I have NEVER been able to shake it.

Having two with T1D makes it exponentially tougher and made me always respected my oldest, the one who was not diagnosed, because no matter how hard we tried; diabetes, at times, took over.  Although it surely helped that he was 20 when his brother was diagnosed and to his credit his only concern was his little brother’s welfare.  It’s a sibling dynamic like few others I have known over my life.

I was told once that if you, your spouse, or one of your children had T1D that the
risk of another child developing type 1 diabetes becomes 10 to 20 times the risk of the general population, but still very rare.

Sure, this is the lottery we win.

What did not change, and what cannot change when things like this occurs, was/is our attitude toward this disease.  Look… other way to put it; it just all sucks and for all the reasons we all know and in our case—-times two…….and in some families; times three and one family I know it became times six……Imagine having 6 kids with T1D?

No matter the circumstances it was about staying positive and moving forward.  It was about ‘doing’, together as a family. The dynamic among siblings is an interesting phenomena to observe.  I’m pretty sure many siblings have used the phrase, “we are a dysfunctional family, but we ARE; family”.  And it’s the ‘family’ structure all siblings need to hold on to. It’s the best of times to remember and also the strength needed in a storm.   At some point the parents will be gone and all that will be left to carry on the traditions, the family values, and even the family name will be siblings.

My kids probably talk to each other more than most, and that always makes me happy especially because I know cases where some do not talk at all. I still wish that National Siblings Day meant to me, what it DOES MEAN and is supposed to mean to everyone else. Desmond Tutu once wrote,  “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”
Amen!  They are…..realize it…..Happy National Siblings Day.
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.


Happy Siblings Day……How Important are the Ones in Your New Normal?

SiblingsDid you know yesterday was ‘Siblings Day’.  I didn’t.  It is not National Siblings Day because it would need a presidential order for that and thus far only 41 state’s governors have recognized it.  But it is the goal of the organization to obtain all 50 and 3 more are pending according to their website at (I found many of the links did not operate, but the content looked intriguing, I hope they fix the links in short order).

The idea was the brain-child of a para-legal in New York named Claudia Evart who lost two of her siblings at a young age.  The date of April 10th was chosen because it is the birthday of one of those siblings who passed.

I find this holiday rather interesting because as any parent of a child with diabetes will tell you, the siblings are the true unsung heroes in this battle with diabetes.  I can not tell you how many times in our lives that our son, TJ, had to be by-passed or told to wait because we were dealing with Kaitlyn’s diabetes.  I am sure he was angered on more than one occasion and I am sure he hated diabetes as much as we do.

He never said a word.

TJ is a strong man both physically and mentally.  His loyalty to his friends are noteworthy and he will look you in the eye when he meets you with a strong handshake.  He is a volunteer fireman and if central casting was casting that role, TJ fits it to the letter.  He regards his brothers and sisters within the department in high esteem.

Of course as a father I have my disclaimers as I know he is not a saint and he knows his faults and works on them as we all do.  But if I had one person in this world to face an adversity; a gang fight, a wall of fire, an accident, or anything else—I would choose to have my son, TJ,  behind me.  If there is one thing I know about my son, if you are family or friend, he’ll have your back to the bitter end.

That is a nice trait.

I have seen TJ cry just a few times in my life.  Those will stay with me but I will share that one of those times was when he and I were alone after his little brother was diagnosed with diabetes.  I saw him try to gain every ounce of strength he could muster to see if there was a way he could take on the pain where is brother would not have to deal with diabetes.  Alas, as that thought was in vain, and his frustration made him break down. 

“Not Bobby”, he said through his tears.  “I don’t know if he is as strong as Kaitlyn is.”  I will never forget those two phrases as long as I live.  Of course, as it turns out, Kaitlyn was on a mission once Rob was diagnosed and because of this love among siblings; Rob is doing very well on this journey.

Siblings.  For those of us who have diabetes as the ‘new normal’ let’s not forget everything they must undertake every day; whether age 1 or 91……so happy Siblings Day…..I know the three in my house make me proud every day; who could ask for anything more?

Let us know about yours.

I am a diabetes dad.

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