Band-Aids for Bravery: One Family’s Creative Support for a New T1D Diagnosis

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When Eleanora was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at only 5 years only, her mother Lori felt overwhelmed. Lori reached out to her network through Facebook to ask for support of young Eleanora in a unique way, she asked friends and family to donate fun Band-Aids that Eleanora could wear after each finger prick. What started out as a simple request, soon snowballed into a support effort greater than Lori could have imagined. Lori shares her story of the amazing impact “Band-Aids for Bravery” had for Eleanora and hopes other families can experience this same support and kindness through something as simple as a box of colorful Band-Aids.

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“In August 2018, my little girl Eleanora was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She was 5 and had just started kindergarten. I was a full-time working mom who also had 3- and 7-year-old little boys, and my husband was on an out-of-state work trip. To say I was overwhelmed would be a tremendous understatement. Eleanora was admitted to the hospital, where we began our whirlwind immersion into the exhausting and relentless experience of Type 1 Diabetes management.

So many wonderful friends offered help. Dropping off food is no good to a family desperately struggling to learn how to count carbs and dose insulin. Then, I had a thought. It started with sharing this simple story on Facebook in 2018:

“OK, friends. I have thought of a fun little thing we can do to show our support and champion Eleanora. It will be inexpensive and easy and will delight her so very much. I’m calling it Band-Aids for Bravery.

This poor sweet pea must get MANY finger pricks a day to check her blood sugar. (We eventually will get a monitor, but we are probably at least a couple of weeks away from that.) Currently, this is our finger-prick schedule: once in the morning when she first wakes up, once before breakfast, two hours after breakfast, before lunch, two hours after lunch, before dinner, two hours after dinner, before any exercise (like soccer practice), at midnight, and at 3 a.m. We use a Band-Aid EACH time. If her numbers concern us and we call her doctor, we often need to do an extra blood test here or there. Her fingertips are sore and covered in Band-Aids. At about a dozen Band-Aids a day, we are quickly running out! 

In addition to her finger pricks, she is receiving at least four insulin injections a day. On occasion, we need Band-Aids for these, too. 

Many of you have said you would like to do something to express your love and support. If you would like to, we invite you to give Elly a new box of Band-Aids that you think she might like. You may leave them on our front porch at home.  We encourage you to include a short note to her.

She is a fan of Disney princesses and Frozen. She loves selecting her post-prick Band-Aid, and it would be such a blessing if she had a selection to choose from. If we receive more than we need, we will donate them. 

This will be fun! She will be absolutely tickled if new boxes of Band-Aids for her to use keep showing up on our porch. Thanks in advance for loving our little girl.”

Then, the donations started to pour in. Box after box of Band-Aids from all over town and all over the country! What a joy this was to Eleanora, who could see the amount of love and support flowing to her, one box of Band-Aids at a time. For days after days, Eleanora would run with delight at the sound of our doorbell and another surprise delivery waiting for her on the porch, often accompanied by a special note. Look what she found during just one trip to the mailbox!

Although this wonderful experience unfolded many months ago, we got to thinking recently: What if Band-Aids for Bravery wasn’t just a one-time thing in just our house? For Eleanora, this experience brought her joy and community support following the dizzying (quite literally!) days after her diagnosis. Band-Aids for Bravery gave an avenue for those wanting to support her and not knowing how. As the mom in this story, it armed me in that confusing and chaotic time with something I could do to comfort my child, which comforted me: simply placing a Band-Aid on my hurting daughter. For us, Band-Aids for Bravery was part of our healing in our first days as a T1D family.

Thank you for sharing in our story and we hope to share this experience with others.

 

With hope and gratitude,

Eleanora & Lori B.