Five years ago, Lindsay Randel’s parents walked into the JDRF TypeOneNation Summit with many questions and teary eyes. Only days before, their 9-year-old had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D), two weeks shy of her 10th birthday.
With gratitude, parents Dani and Mike Randel now look back on that day and see by summit’s end, they were comforted by valuable resources, caring families and JDRF’s support. “Everyone was super friendly with valuable insight,” said Dani, Lindsay’s mother. “JDRF was able to answer any questions we had, which was so helpful, and from the very beginning, JDRF has been there for Lindsay.”
From the very beginning, Lindsay has owned her diagnosis and took charge of her care and well-being. As she anxiously awaited her return home from the initial hospital stay, the doctor promised if she was willing to give herself a shot of insulin, proving her ability to take care of herself, she’d be homeward bound. Surprising her caretakers, Lindsay quickly took the syringe, injected it into her stomach and without fear said, “okay, let’s go.”
For Lindsay, now 15, T1D “is what it is, and is a way of life.” When asked how she is able to give herself routine shots in the midst of curious stares, she has been known to answer, “If I didn’t, I would die.” And with that truthful attitude, and a surprising bit of wit, Lindsay enjoys educating others.
Putting tips shared at the TypeOneNation Summit into action – specifically that the more people know about T1D and how to care for someone living with diabetes, the safer she may be – Lindsay once created a video to share with her school on the ins-and-outs of her diagnosis. Teachers and fellow students are now more aware of life with T1D and the challenges that may arise: in Lindsay’s mind, that means more people who can help support a cure – a mission she holds close to her heart.
Lindsay has a lot of empathy for kids living with T1D and has always been one to ask the difficult questions. “When it comes to purchasing different pumps and insulin, she wonders why some kids have better insurance than others,” Dani said. “She knows that some friends have it worse, so she tries to learn from their situations at various JDRF programs.” Someday, Lindsay hopes to help kids with T1D by working in the health field.
As she continues to go out into the community, she has had the opportunity to not only speak up for herself but all individuals who face the realities of T1D as a Children’s Congress representative, a role her parents say was life-enhancing.
“Although she is helping JDRF tell their story, in the process, she is growing her confidence,” said Mike, Lindsay’s father. “As much as she’s trying to educate others, she is learning more about herself, and we’re so proud.”
Join Lindsay, her co-captain, Madison Butler, and the Hot Shots Team for their fifth JDRF One Walk on Sunday, September 22, 2019, at Miliken State Park/Detroit River Walk in Detroit as they walk to end T1D. For more information or to register for One Walk, please click here.