Some 'feel good' news for families and their caregivers who have children living with T1 or Type One diabetes. My daughter, Chelsey, was diagnosed 15 years ago this August, 2014, at the sweet age of 12. It was a life-changing time in our life, fraught with unknowns. From daily care, nighttime routines and most especially - could I, or would I, trust that society would not let my girl down when I wasn't around to help her manage her blood sugars due to a pancreas that no longer functioned.
Moving from an easy-going childhood of schoolwork, sports and theatre with song and dance, and wonderful playtime with her special friends, to one in which Chelsey's every move was met against a rigerous routine of blood testing (up to ten pokes a day) and up to six - often 8 needles per day injected into my beautiful daughter's frail body, then matched up with carbohydrate and protein intake, was incredibly daunting. Yet, I can confidently share that within two years, as Chelsey made the transition from elementary school to high school, we nailed it...pretty much.
We were so fortunate to have been mentored by a group of gifted, highly-educated and caring medical professionals along the way. No family or individual can learn to manage this wickedly jarring and often 'silent' disease - in that most T1 diabetics look 'normal' - on their own. From Nurse Practioner, Doreen Hatton, to the Nutritionists and Nursing teams and the fabulous Drs'. Dan and Dina, we rallied and thrived.
Today my inspiring daughter, Chelsey Allen, is a university Honours graduate who is undertaking a Holistic Nutrition Practioner designation after being in the working world for 3 years. She is still very active as an Ambassador with the Canadian Diabetes Association, having run the Honolulu Marathon with Team Diabetes where together, we raised over $10,000 for Kids Camp. She mentors newly diagnosed youth through programs with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and she publishes her own blog, Miss Insulin.com here. And 15 years later, we are still in touch with the dynamic and passionate 'medical' caregiving team at BC Children's Hospital.
This uplifting interview with Nurse Sharlene Hermon and Dr. Daniel Metzger brings some long anticipated positive news for families in British Columbia.