As much as I would like to bash diabetes in the head and send him packing, I have to admit, some good has come from Sarah's experience - even she would agree.
1. Sarah got over her fear of needles.
2. No one in my household has an issue with blood.
Okay, those seem a bit superficial, so here I go with the deep analysis...
Before diabetes, we went about our days without much of a care beyond keeping everything flowing; sleep, work, dinner, kids activities. Rinse and repeat. Since Sarah was diagnosed, I think we've all spent more time contemplating the bigger issues of life, mortality, and in doing something meaningful. I didn't know anything at all about type 1 diabetes before Sarah was diagnosed - I hope that if I would have, I'd have been sympathetic, understanding, and involved in fundraising because it sure is a different animal when you're standing on this side of the fence.
Tonight I met a woman and we ended up talking about type 1 diabetes. She said (yeah, just like in the video!) "Wow, I could never give my child shots". And it made me wonder what my own reaction would have been to this conversation, if I'd been standing on the other side of the fence. Because really, what is the line on what a parent will or won't do for their child? I have no idea. For me, I'll do whatever it takes to keep my child alive. Beyond alive, I'll do whatever it takes to keep her healthy. Beyond healthy, I'll do whatever it takes to ensure she has the tools to keep herself healthy. Isn't that what mama's are for?
In addition to the education that comes as a result of having a child with an illness as time intensive as diabetes, we've had some great experiences we wouldn't otherwise have had.
1. Sarah got to sing at last year's American Diabetes Association walk.
2. Sarah and I had a chance to go to Congress and talk to our representatives and their aides about continuing diabetes funding for research.
3. Sarah is Youth Ambassador for Step Out 2011 in Sacramento.
4. We have both met some amazing people on this journey - too many to mention!
We...she is making a difference. We are mentors with the JDRF and really enjoy the opportunity to talk to newly diagnosed families. Sarah is such a vivacious, happy, cheerful, healthy little girl - I think just listening to her gives new parents a lot of confidence about how normal a child with diabetes can be, given the right care and continuous management.
I can see in Sarah a drive that I don't know if I saw before. She is passionate, motivated, and using her powers for good.