The reason I am part of the JDRF One Walk is to support my daughter and raise awareness of T1D. My daughter, Brooklyn, was diagnosed at age eleven on July 21, 2017, and I am happy to say, she is doing amazing and has really taken ownership of “thinking like a pancreas” to manage her health. I am beyond proud to be the mom of such a brave, courageous, smart, responsible, and dedicated young lady. But to say the past nine months have been easy would not be true. A type 1 diagnosis changed her life, and our family’s life, drastically.
When we went to Brooklyn’s physical, I mentioned that I had a sister who was diagnosed at age four with T1D and that I was wondering if I could be reminded of warnings signs to watch for. As our pediatrician began talking to Brooklyn and asking questions, I quickly developed a pit in my stomach, as I learned she was up several times a night getting drinks and using the restroom. I knew before the test was even done that Brooklyn had diabetes. We are so fortunate to live in Omaha and have Children’s Hospital to educate and support. I have learned a lot in the past ten months and know I still have a lot more to learn and that the support is there at all times.
Educating others has been a hurdle, as many people do not realize that there is nothing you can do to change a type 1 diagnosis – it’s not related to diet, there is not a magic pill – it just is a pancreas that no longer produces insulin. I was not aware of how many people do not realize that there is a big difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Most people associate diabetes with type 2 and think we should be able to do things so Brooklyn doesn’t have it anymore. Raising awareness and talking to friends, family, and school staff members has been eye opening.
After Brooklyn’s diagnosis, I went into Momma Bear support mode and threw together a fundraising page, t-shirt design and order, and arrangements for Brooklyn’s Force to participate in the 2017 JDRF One Walk event. We were overwhelmed with having such an amazing and impressive support system to participate in our first walk (on such short notice) and plan to make it a tradition. The biggest way I raised money was to share our JDRF page with family and friends, as well as my contacts through work. I am proud of what we raised in such a short amount of time – $2100 – and look forward to beating that amount this year since we have more time to do it. I think it’s important to send it to anyone you know and let people know that any amount helps and is appreciated! This year I plan to do the same as last year, in addition to some lemonade stands with bracelets and goodies to purchase.
— Janet, Shane, Taylor & Brooklyn