Fighting for a CURE!

Fighting for a CURE!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Athletes with Type 1 Diabetes

So over the weekend Rial started to feel sorry for himself & started to say things like "I'm never going to be able to play professional sports" "I'm never going to be able to play in the NFL" "It's so frustrating to have Diabetes, why can't i just go back to being normal?" etc.. Well as a parent your heart automatically starts to sink but also as a parent you have to pick them back up and not let those feelings get in the way of doing whatever it is you want to do in life. There are many of people in your same position or worse still living out their dreams and not letting this stand in their way. So I thought I would compose a list of Athletes living out their dream all while having Type 1. 

Wasim Akram was diagnosed with diabetes at the peak of his career but depite the initial blow, he managed to regain his form and went on to produce fine cricketing performances. Since then he has actively sought to be involved in various awareness-raising campaigns for diabetes.

A Canadian native, Byle first received public attention as a result of his tireless efforts to organize his nationwide run, Dash for Diabetes, in 1997. Despite taking five insulin shots per day and managing a strict athletic diet, Byle managed to run over 6000 km across Canada, proving exactly how much a person with diabetes is capable of. 

Nick Boynton played for the Boston Bruins prior to joining the Phoenix Coyotes. He was drafted in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by Boston (he was orininally drafted bu the Washington Capitals in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft) Shortly before his first training camp, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes but the diease has no affted his ability to play hockey.
He has also created a video: Advise for young Athletes with Type 1

Doug Burns is an internationally repected fitness consultant and record-holding strength athlete. Doug has also had type 1 diabetes since the age of seven. Initially misdiagnosed with the flu, Doug's health quickly declined until he was brought to the emergency room with ketoacidosis and a blood sugar over 700.

Champion snowboarder Sean Busby, 21, is in training for the 2010-2014 Olympics. As a nationally ranked snowboarder, Busby is known for his events in Slalom and Giant Slalom. Although he has only been snowboarding professionally for a few years, his dedication and determination as an athlete and an individual has brought him to the top of his game. To this day Sean has not let his disease defeat him. "Diabetes has tried very hard to stop me from being an athlete," he said. "It will continue to do that, but it will never win. This friend that will remain with me for the rest of my life until a cure is found is not going to determine how I live my life."

Jay Cutler began his career in the NFL as the 11th pick of the 2006 draft for the Denver Broncos and is currently with the Chicago Bears. On May 1, 2008 Jay Cutler revealed that he had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and would need daily insulin shots for treatment.

Missy Foy is an extremely well-known long distance runner who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 33. Her most outstanding accomplishment was in 2000 when she became the first athlete with diabetes to qualify for the Olympic Marathan trails. In 2005 she was ranked #1 world ranking for a 50-mile trail race. 

Professional surfer Scott Dunton was hit by a major wave at the age of 16 when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Living the typical teen-age life, he had to learn how to take control of this new disease and in doing so,, take control of his health and his life. Scott is now ranked 119 by the professional World Tour of Surfing. When the Hawaii resident isn't surfing, he's golfing, hunting, or traveling.

Throughout all of Gary Hall Jr. success in swimming he has had to struggle with keeping you with his type 1 diabetes. hall was diagnosed in 1999 and was faced with a decision whether or not to give up on his career. Hall did stop swimming for a short while after being diagnosed, he quickly came back to the game to break a world record in the men's 50-meter freestyle race with a time of 21.76 at the 2000 Olympic Games. 

These are just some people who have gone on to do great things regardless of having Type 1 Diabetes. They just know what they have to do, they understand how their bodies react in certain situations and take it from there. 

SPECIAL MESSAGE: I know you can be anything you want to be, YOU just have to have the drive, determination & heart to do it!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Type 1 Emergency Planning

So being on the East Coast and in light of today's earthquake events, it has me seriously thinking about what would we do if this earthquake had been worse? Here in the DMV, we don't get much excitement so when we got this 5.9 quake, a light bulb went off. What if my son was in school? We all know that no one would take care of your child like you would, then add about 5000 or more students & teachers to the mix and it makes for a stressed T1 child & VERY WORRIED PARENTS. I mean..... I can only imagine how many responsibility's these teachers/nurses/etc.... already have, then adding a child with T1 to it, makes for a very rough situation.

We all know that a child with T1 his/hers blood sugar can drop in a instant due to stress, this is why it is utterly important to talk with your child and school to come up with a emergency plan. This situation should already be on your 504 plan, if you do not have one, PLEASE make one, if you have one, PLEASE make sure it has an emergency plan stated.

What is a 504 plan? It is legal documentation that the public school system MUST avid by, this plan is worked out by the parents/schooling system to make sure your T1 child's needs are met. Some examples from our 504 are, BS testing before major tests, to ensure glucose levels are within normal range, if not, allows for more time to take the test. Snack schedules, breaks for water, etc... I can't stress enough that 504 plans are absolutely necessary. If you have not created a 504  plan for your child and would like to find out more information, please visit:

Now..... back to emergency planning, in today's world it's unfortunately not to unimaginable to have some sort of disaster. I mean.... we see it everyday on the news, unlikely, but still a probability. I know I would like to be prepared for it. How about you? So here are some guidelines to help you prepare & hopefully you will never have to use.

In an evacuation situation, school nurses are trained to carry an emergency backpack with health paperwork and supplies. However, what if your class in on lock-down? This leaves 1 or 2 scared teachers with 15-20 scared students. This is where your planning can make a HUGE difference in your T1 child's safety.

Here is what I purpose:

  1. Sit down with your spouse (or friend) and devise a written plan. Make sure you two have thought of every possible scenario. School lock-down (ability to be with the nurse), Classroom lock-down (only with teacher or even a substitute) Fire alarm, staying outside in the hot/cold weather, Earthquake (in these events especially us here on the east coast, we have no experience with this, so everyone is in freak out mode).
  2. This plan should include supplies your child should have with them at all times (i.e. BS monitor, test strips, glucagon, insulin, syringes, snacks, water) emergency numbers, maybe even a note that they are not to open unless there is an emergency, within the note make it short, sweet & to the point. "Stay calm, remember all we talked about and you will be just fine, love you!"
  3. Now hoping your child is old enough to understand, (if not I highly recommend taking this written plan to the teacher & make sure he/she keeps it out for any substitute with a picture of your child so he/she is easily identified) (Props to Teresa on Stop Juvenile Diabetes FB page for the picture suggestion) talk to your child, explain these possible scenarios, tell them your written plan & put a more simplified written plan & all supplies and all the above in their backpack.
  4. TALK...TALK...TALK to your child about this over & over again, once a week, once a month at most, so if this ever becomes a reality your child will remember what he/she must do.
  5. Find a friend in class that he/she can stick with just in case of these emergencies & tell them some of the signs on low blood sugar so they can help in anyway. My son is 10 & I understand this method can't be used for all, but a friend regardless of understanding or not is always a secured method, feeling of not being alone.
Now my son does have a cell phone he carries with him to school. However, in today's events where cell phones weren't working and I couldn't get a hold of anyone these devices are useless. This is where all your hard work and planning become extremely valuable, now I know that nothing can stop a parent from worrying, it's inevitable. However, with these plans, talks & preparation will lead to more organization & less of a guessing game and when you finally become reunited with your child, they can look at you can say (with a sense of excitement) "I did everything we talked about!!!!" & you can walk away and finally breath!

I hope I got you thinking, even if it helps one person I have done my job. Now... in a motherly way I hope none of these emergency planning is necessary, but reality strikes and wares it's ugly head so we must be prepared. 


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back to school!

Well I must say, I am readdddddy for the kids to go back to school. Summer used to be so easy (expensive.......but still easy in hindsight) but now it is a real strain on the family. Since Rial has been diagnosed trying to find places for him and Nico to go to summer camp together and still Rial gets the proper looking after has been a chore to say the least. All the summer camps by us are run by young teens and diabetes camps are outrageously expensive. UGH. Although i will say i was not as prepared as I should have been, but then again who is really all that prepared when you find out your kid has Type 1 diabetes? Hopefully next year will be better, I will know what to look for, ask for help when needed and hopefully get a couple of good leads for the Maryland area. ( I will keep you updated)

Rial has been doing a great job of checking his own blood sugar levels, even though he forgets to change the lancets, I'm sure all that will come in time. Insulin shots have become 2nd nature to him, although the doctor has said he needs to move the shots all the way around. example, Monday: left arm, Tuesday: Right Arm, Wednesday: Left side of stomach, Thursday: Right side of stomach etc.... Rial has a major problem with the stomach area, still has not gotten used to it. He is working on it, but still is a chore for me at least.

Side note for Diabetics: Doctors suggest injecting insulin this way so you do not build up fatty deposits in the inject areas, if injected into fatty deposits you will not get the proper insulin which results in higher blood glucose levels and higher levels of insulin that is not needed.

I remember when i was going through the classes at Children's Hospital, all the kids who where there made appoint to say they love getting shots on the stomach since it tends to hurt less, wish Rial could have been there to hear this, but they only allowed children 10 years or older in. Every time I tell him this he sincerely thinks I'm lying! Oh well, whats a mom to do!?!

I will say between work and not having a stable camp to send him to, he has not had the proper exercise needed to maintain great numbers. Rial is on a lot of ups and downs and has the attitude to prove it! With staying home and indoors all day playing with x-box and DSI's, its a wonder why! JK! But Football season is approaching along with school and my rule of NO GAMES on week days, I do believe the numbers he has now will be a thing of the past along with his 2 shots a day. I'm sure once he is active he will be pleased to know that his 1 shot a day will hopefully be back into affect.

I will say Rial has not had a very memorable summer, I sincerely wish I could let go and let him sleep over at his friends houses, let him go with others on outing etc... However, I just CAN"T. When he gets older hopefully i will let go more. I think I have a great family & friends base, but not willing to chance him with anyone. I know my neighbors have a great understanding of his situation, they are AWESOME, they get sugar free snacks just for when Rial comes over and from the bottom of my heart I thank you for that. My Mother-in-law is GREAT, she watches the kids all day and truly appreciate this, especially with my kids!LOL! Also my mom & dad have been wonderful (Mr. & Mrs. health conscious) they have givin me some great idea's and has helped out tremendously! They have also created a breakfast I will share below, trust me when I say it is really very yummy! Plus all other friends and family, you guys are all wonderful:)

Breakfast Idea:
1 1/2 cup of All Bran Buds
2 cut up strawberry's
1/2 cut up nectarine
2 cups of yogurt (homemade is best, but regular will do)
Top it all off with a couple of spoonfuls of honey!
YUMMY! Very healthy, low carb and will help out with your gastrointestinal tract!

In closing...... I am happy summer is over and school is BACK! I finally got the kids to the beach over the weekend and happy to report everyone had a BLAST! Now off to the school and get with the nurse and make sure everything is in place for Monday morning. Still gotta get snacks and the dates of school field trips. Just gotta stay focused and keep my eye on the prize, children growing up to be responsible, healthy, loving people!

Now stay tuned for our next big adventure, surviving 4th Grade!!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


As most of you I'm sure are aware food is our number one weakness or at least it is mine. However, I am not a Diabetic but my son is. He is on a strict plan the Doctors have deemed fit for him 40-55g carbs for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and 25-30g carbs for snacks. Now, before I have always considered myself semi-healthy mom, since I never had to worry about it. My kids are all very active and have a blazing fast metabolism (lil devils!) which has always worked quite well for me in the past, if they ate pizza I know with in a hour they would have burned about 20% of those carbs & calories. I did and have not ever made it a habit to only give my children pizza but did think of it as a treat on the Fridays I got paid.

Now however, that has come to a screecin holt and I am now forced to make healthier decisions for my children and especially for my son. I should have been making these wise decisions before but what else can I say I LOVE ME SOME CARBS & so do my children, if it was up to my daughter all she would ever eat is bread! :)

Well I have been doing some research and found a couple of great recipes I would love to share.
Click on the following links:
Strawberry Smoothie - I must say I tried this the other day and it is DELICIOUS!
D.D. Double Down Recipe - I haven't tried this one yet, but does look rather tasty!
For more recipes visit Diabetes Daily

Now the real challenge, counting carbs. Not so fun, but well worth the trouble. Since my son is 9, he does miss those special treats which does every once in a while create an argument in the house but has worked out okay for the most part. The most useful tool I have in my corner is my handy dandy Carb Counter book called The CalorieKing Carlorie Fat & Carbohydrate Counter. This book is awesome, it has every food known to man inside which is also separated by restaurants & fast food chains and it also small enough to fit in my PURSE!! My rule of thumb when I have forgotten my Carb book is or just making dinner is:
Grain, 1 slice of bread or 1/3 cup rice or pasta = 15 grams of carbs
Starchy Veggies, 1/2 cup = 15g carbs
Non-starcy Veggies, 1/2 cup chopped, 1 cup leafy = 5g carbs
Fruit, 1 small, 1/2 cup, 4 oz juice = 15g carbs
Milk/Yogurt, 1 cup (8 ounces)) = 12g carbs.
I suppose this is Diabetes 101!

Okay well I'm off to make dinner and count those carbs. To all those people eating yummy dinners with yummy cakes & treats enjoy & please think of us! :) Just kidding, really.... enjoy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A mother & son shocker

In April 2010, my first born son who is 9 started to use the bathroom very urgently and was also going in his bed at night, he was drinking like a fish and I just didn't know what was wrong. At first I thought he was under the weather and didn't think much else of it. Then more symptoms started kicking in, he was starving all of the time and had this fruity smell to him, which come to find out later that is the tall tale sign of Diabetes. I took him to the doctor, they ran some test’s and got the worst phone call and mother can get. "Ma'am, you have to take Rial in to the hospital asap, I'm afraid to tell you but your son's blood sugar levels are around 600 (a normal persons is between 70-120) and we think he has Diabetes."

Now coming from families that have no history of Diabetes, I didn't know what to do. I rushed him to Children's Hospital in DC and all sorts of things were running through my mind. Mind you, I had no idea between the difference of Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, I just thought it was people that did not take care of themselves and really ignorantly never gave it more thought. I thought, what did I do? Did I feed him too much McDonald's? Was I not healthy enough? Was it the swine flu shot that made him this way? I was just a mess, and my son Rial was just as scared and asking a million questions I did not have answers for.

My eternal D-Day was on March 26th, 2010, we are in the emergency room and the nurses are running around taking blood samples, putting my baby on an IV. Then someone from the Endocrinology department comes to his bed side and lets me know that Rial does in fact have Type 1 Diabetes and saying that we were very lucky to have caught it when we did since he could have gone into DKA (Diabetic ketoacidosis) which can lead to severe illness or death if diagnosis is delayed. So we are admitted to the hospital and taken to our own room. I proceed to ask them questions, exactly all the ones that were running through my mind on the drive there. They very quickly brought me back down to reality and let me know it was nothing I did, nothing I could have done would have prevented this. Let me just say that no matter how many times I was told this in the hospital, there will always be a sense of guilt, since I am his mother, I am the one who is supposed to prevent these sorts of things from occurring. So we stay in the hospital for a couple of days until he is better and we learn all we need to know about Insulin, proper way to use needles, blood sugar tests, his eating habits, what is healthy and not healthy. All this information to take in and all coming from no knowledge once so ever, but willing to know everything I can to help Rial and take away any anxiousness he may feel.

Today Rial is doing great! We have been living with Diabetes for 2 months and he is in his honeymoon stage (which means his body is producing its own insulin) he still has a lot of lows in the morning which Children’s Hospital and I are working very hard to treat this on a day by day basis. He went from having 3 shots a day to only having one. When we we’re in the hospital they said this may happen and it’s hard to determine how long it will last but happy it’s lasted this long. Rial is a very active kid; he plays all sorts of sports from football, soccer, basketball etc…. He always tells me “Mom, why is this happening to me?” I tell him, “It’s not only happening to you, it’s happening to many children & adults across the world and now that we are educated about it we can help spread the word so nobody has to feel alone, feel sorry for themselves or be down in any way since we will do anything and everything to help FIND A CURE!”

Let me just say that I am so grateful that he doesn't have a life threatening disease and with proper management he can live a long healthy life. Everyday there are new strides in the Diabetes movement and just hope that before Rial hits 18 there will be a cure, I do not mind one ounce to take this stress of the daily grind just so he can have peace when he goes off to college and becomes a adult. I can only hope that one day there will be a cure but must say since I am a mother of 3 if any of my children were to have Diabetes I rather it is Rial. He is such a strong, level headed, conscious, kind hearted kid and with both of us together we can beat anything that comes our way and with the support of family we will take over this disease and toss it where the sun don’t shine!

As I was writing this letter I have tears streaming down my face but not since I feel sorry for myself, or have pity for my son but because as a mother you just want them to be healthy. You know.... The feeling before your about to have a baby and others ask you “what do you want, a boy or a girl?” and all you can say is “I don’t really care as long and he/she is healthy!” Well that’s just how I feel, I just want healthy children and when something comprises that you just want to SCREAM. So this is me screaming to the world; learn, act and help stop diabetes.