On January 31, 2022, our daughter Isabella (Izzy), at the age of 10, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. During the week prior we had noticed a few symptoms of type 1, and we already knew what the diagnosis would be when I took her to her pediatrician that Monday morning. As expected, we were sent directly to the hospital where we received the official diagnosis and began our t1d journey. After a 3-day hospital stay we were sent home; Izzy was beyond excited to leave, and we felt like we were going home with a newborn all over again, full of nerves. Over the next few days, we tested out our new normal: injections, finger pokes, carb counting and juice boxes. Before we knew it, these new scary things became routine.
I read books, listened to podcasts, anything to educate myself on the disease, and this research led me to JDRF. We want Izzy to know that she is not alone, that there are so many other kids and adults living with T1D. We felt that getting involved in the JDRF One walk was a great way for Izzy, and our family, to become an active part of the t1d community and we can’t wait to experience our first walk this fall. While we are still at the beginning of our fundraising efforts, we have been busy coming up with clever ways to reach our goal, and one of our most exciting ideas is a karate tournament at the studio where Izzy trains. She has been studying karate for about 3 years and it is her passion. Her studio is so supportive of her and we are so happy to be able to work together to form a fundraising event to benefit Izzy and help us reach our JDRF fundraising goal.
Along with our karate fundraising event, we will be making shirts to sell and we plan on hosting lemonade stands throughout the summer. Izzy is super excited for all of these activities and is an active participant in the planning process.
Izzy has never seen diabetes as a bad thing, she has embraced it. Yes, there are days she rolls her eyes at us when we ask her to test with her meter or complains about Dexcom changes, but she has not let this disease define who she is. We are fortunate that Izzy’s grandma also has type 1 diabetes; Izzy has watched her test her blood sugar and inject insulin all of her life. This disease was not something she had never heard of, but rather something that she had been around many times.
I’ll never forget during one of our talks while running errands, Izzy told me that she liked having diabetes, that it made her different. I hope she always holds on to that thought, that she embraces every bit of who she is and shares it with the world. This disease will most definitely change her life; our hope is that through foundations such as JDRF, advancements continue to be made and living with type 1 diabetes becomes easier and easier for all those affected.
~Kate (Izzy’s mom)