Kelly Green’s son, Dominic, was diagnosed with T1D in 2007 when he was three years old. “It was a total shock,” Kelly recalled. “I knew nothing about Type One and how it would impact us. I didn’t know I would have to constantly advocate for him and train and educate people.”
A mom on a mission, Kelly wanted to learn more about this disease, how best to manage it and how to raise awareness for it. In an effort to do so, she joined the Parent Diabetes Network for moral support and to meet other families affected by T1D. The group eventually merged with JDRF for additional resources and to expand their network of parents with children with T1D. Kelly added, “You learn so much from other families who are living with T1D.”
Today, Kelly helps lead the Canton/Plymouth/Livonia JDRF Networking Coffee Group, which is designed to bring together both parents and caregivers of children with T1D and their children. Parents and caregivers meet once per month at the Grand Traverse Pie Company in Plymouth, where conversations range from preparing for back-to-school, foods that help alleviate sugar spikes and also how overwhelming the disease can be for both kids and parents/caregivers. Meetings also offer an opportunity for parents and caregivers to learn tips and tricks on how to cope and/or manage T1D from other families. Additionally, the group hosts kid-friendly outings, such as bowling for the children involved to have fun while developing friendships.
Kelly said it’s important to know, “You are not alone. There is a whole network of T1D support out there that can help get you through this diagnosis, journey and new life that you’re living.”
Now 13, Dominic is getting ready to celebrate his 10-Year “Dia-versary.” He plays hockey, baseball and has been on student council. He also has served as JDRF Youth Ambassador for several years and has advocated for T1D at various events. “It’s an invisible disease. The more awareness, the better,” said Kelly.
The Greens also have participated in every JDRF One Walk since Dominic’s diagnosis as Dominic’s Dream Team. Kelly added, “We walk and we will walk until there’s a cure.” To register for a Michigan One Walk near you, visit http://bit.ly/JDRFONEWALKMI.
If you are from the Canton area and are interested in joining the Canton/Plymouth/Livonia JDRF Networking Coffee Group, contact Kelly Green at firstname.lastname@example.org or (734) 432-2610.