Dear Family Teams–
I thought that perhaps it might be a good idea for me to introduce myself and, particularly, my connection to T1D, more thoroughly. It is my hope to have you feel comfortable calling on me for assistance with any aspect of your family team.
My husband, Andy, was diagnosed when he was 19 years old. When I met him, I was 23, he was 27, and he had been living with diabetes for about eight years. I did not know much then about T1D.
I dated Andy for six years before we married and, in that time, I came to understand the disease better but, still, he was a grown man and it was his disease. He always seemed to manage it fairly well and it did not seem to slow him down. I do remember that I used to think that if his blood sugar went low, it was because of something he did or did not do. I did not yet appreciate the fact that, even when you do everything that you are supposed to do, you can still have tremendous difficulty controlling blood sugar.
Two years after we married, we had our first son, Mac, and then four years after that, our second son, Liam. During my pregnancies, we inquired about the risk of passing T1D onto our kids and were told that the risk was extremely low.
But, when Liam was 18 months old, he started having a very fussy period. He kept awaking in the night, wetting through his diaper and soaking the sheets. After several nights, as I was returning to bed, it hit me that excessive urination was a classic symptom of T1D. I got into bed and told Andy that we should check Liam’s blood glucose in the morning. We did and, unfortunately, our worst fears were confirmed.
By the end of that day, I knew how to give insulin shots and we were beginning the amazingly challenging process of learning how to manage T1D in a toddler.
Liam is now twelve years old and is a healthy, happy, vibrant sixth grader. He handles his diabetes with amazing grace. When he was four, both he and Andy switched to insulin pumps to manage their diabetes. Having learned myself so much about diabetes, I have become a good resource for Andy in assisting him with the management of his. We try very hard not to let our lives revolve around this dreaded disease but, nevertheless, it robs us of too much of the good that life has to offer.
Since becoming involved with the JDRF, I have met many families going through similar struggles. We all love our children. We all dream of futures for them without insulin shots and medical devices. We all want them to grow up happy and healthy and strong without the ever-present danger of life-altering complications.
So we walk together, and we raise money to fund a cure. In this way we are not just hoping and praying for a cure, we are effecting one through our hard work and efforts. In this way, we can look our kids in the eyes and promise them that we are doing all that we can for them and that we will not give up on them until a cure is found.
Thank you for all that you are doing for Liam and Andy and for your own precious children! Please, let’s all do our best this year to raise money to fund this cure we all so desperately need.
Gwyn Brown Batson
Family Team Chair
Baton Rouge Walk to Cure Diabetes