Lia Benn recalls it as her “mommy intuition” when she had a feeling something wasn’t right when her then 22-month-old daughter, Julia, was regularly wetting through her diapers. After Lia took Julia to their family pediatrician to have her tested for type 1 diabetes (T1D), results confirmed the diagnosis.
New to T1D during the first year of her daughter’s diagnosis, Lia became acquainted with JDRF, where she was introduced to Dr. Kathleen Moltz of Toledo Children’s Hospital who specializes in T1D “littles,” which is considered to be children five years old and younger with T1D.
Lia added, “I remember vividly when Julia was diagnosed that everyone I knew had older kids with diabetes.” Because of this, Lia felt the need to provide a resource for other families who may be feeling what she experienced by launching the JDRF T1D Littles Group. With over 100 members since the group’s inception in 2015, Lia said, “It’s been nice to get to know other parents and provide support for one another.”
The support group brings together families with T1D littles for local events and group discussions based on common challenges, including what type of equipment is best for active, little kids, how to plan for travel or long road trips, and carb counting on holidays, to name a few.
Lia’s mission over the past few years has been to raise as much money for JDRF as possible to help fund critical T1D research, educate as many people about T1D as she can and make Julia’s life as normal as possible. She added, “I just want people to know they are not alone in this.”
Now walking for their fourth year in a row, the Benn family will help turn Type One into Type None at the JDRF One Walk in Dexter, Michigan as Team Julia’s Jedi.
The group is also very active on a closed Facebook group: JDRF T1D Littles. The online forum is exclusively for parents with babies or toddlers, ages 0-5, which have T1D in Michigan and Northwest Ohio.
If you are from the Michigan or Northwest Ohio area and are interested in joining the JDRF T1D Littles Group and/or the group’s closed Facebook group, contact Lia Benn at T1Dlittles@gmail.com.