A Letter to My 3-Year-Old Warrior

To My Lucas,

Sweet angel, the day you were diagnosed our lives did a complete 180. Seeing you lying there in the ICU in Diabetic Ketoacidosis completely rocked our world and I truly thought once we got through your initial diagnosis things would get easier. I’ll never forget the doctor asking us which was more difficult, bringing you home from the hospital as a newborn or bringing you home after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Without question the latter. I also remember a family friend telling us that this would not be the last time you would be hospitalized. Unfortunately, they were correct. Every time we end up back in the hospital I am amazed by your strength and positive attitude.

I want you to know that you are a warrior. You have faced things that a baby, toddler and now a little boy should never have to deal with. I am sorry you were diagnosed with T1D at 12 months of age. I wish I could tell you why this happened because I know someday you will ask me and I won’t have an answer. I wish I could take away the high and low blood sugars, the site and CGM changes, the failed sites and the countless blood sugar checks.  I wish you didn’t cry every time I did a site change. Lucas if you only knew how much it broke my heart every time your sweet little voice says to me, “Mommy please don’t hurt me. I will have Diabetes tomorrow.” You still haven’t grasped the fact that this may be forever, but how could you, you’re only three. As I write this letter to you the tears are rolling down my cheeks. Baby, if I could change places with you I would in a heartbeat.

Lucas I want you to know that I will always be your rock when you need me. Whether it be to closely monitor your blood sugars, which has proven to be a challenging balancing act, a shoulder to cry on when you are frustrated, a support system or just a mommy to snuggle up to when you are having a rough day.

Lucas, thank you for giving me the strength to manage this disease everyday until the day comes that it will be your responsibility. There is nothing about Diabetes that is easy. Something as simple as a cold, running with friends or just simply eating has to be thought about differently. I want you to know that I know that.  Lucas, someday the burden of managing T1D will fall on your shoulders. Please know that I may not know what it feels like to have Diabetes but I will always empathize with you on what it takes to manage this disease. Diabetes management does not take a break. It is a 24/7 365 days a year job. Please forgive all the times you could probably feel me hovering over you while you slept, but you have to understand when the rest of the world is sleeping your Daddy and I are trying to make sure you are safe.

Lucas, my hope is that you read this letter someday and you know that I am so proud of the little boy you have become. You handle this disease with complete grace. All the needles, high and low blood sugars, doctor visits and hospitalizations would be difficult on anyone; but you are still and always will be my smiley happy boy.

My sweet Lucas, my final hope is that you read this letter 10 years from now and there is a cure for Diabetes. My hope is that all we have been through will be a distant memory and we’ll get to celebrate the momentous accomplishment of curing Type 1 Diabetes. That is why Daddy and I dedicate our time and resources to JDRF. We know that with their help we can find a cure. Not only has JDRF given us hope that one day there will be a cure, but they’ve also connected us with other families impacted by T1D. These relationships we have formed have become important to us during this journey with this disease.

Finally, Lucas I know Diabetes will not hold you back from accomplishing amazing things in your life. Yes, you may have Diabetes, but this disease does not define you. You are a sweet, loving, artistic, athletic boy that just so happens to also be a warrior that kicks Diabetes butt every day.

I love you with every fiber of my being my sweet baby.




Written By: Kelly Grisoli