Type 1 Diabetes

We Couldn’t Make it without You!! All of our Family & Friends.

Today is day 4 of the Diabetes Blog Week. Today the topic is Mantras and More- We’re sharing what gets us through a rough day, or more specifically a hard diabetes day.

I am so happy that I joined this Blog series this year! There are so many great bloggers out there, and everyone has their own story, it’s inspiring to me to have them to turn to and get an insight into someone else’s struggles and triumphs with type 1 diabetes.  That is one of the ways that I get through a rough diabetes day.  It’s so stressful to watch your child go through a rough blood sugar day.  Because their emotions are totally affected by their blood sugar number.  When Joey gets sassy, I know immediately that he is either very high, or very low.  I do smile when we are out and he gets sassy and I say, “you better be high right now, or you’re in big trouble!”  I love to see the faces of the people standing near us.  If I am having a rough day I will go to one of the facebook support groups and either just read other parent’s posts, or post one of my own.  It’s nice to have other parents who understand exactly what we go through, to voice concerns with.

Joey at Step Out, with some of his fans.
Joey at Step Out, with some of his fans.

People often say to me: “I don’t know how you do it, getting up during the night, learning all that you did about type 1 diabetes, and just coping. I couldn’t do it!”  My response is always the same, “of course you could do it, you don’t have a choice!  If you don’t learn to take care of your child with type 1, they will die!”

I am a positive person by nature.  I try to see the good in every situation, when I start to get down, which is inevitable with type 1 because it truly doesn’t ever take a break, I make myself go to the place no parent wants to go, to think of the alternative.  There are many parents who would love to have their children back, children who lost their battle with type 1 diabetes, and that thought changes my perspective and makes me feel grateful that Joey is with me.

Another reason that I don’t let myself get down about type 1 is because if I have a negative attitude about it, it will reflect in my words, and my actions.  I never want Joey to get a negative vibe from me regarding this disease.   I refuse to let this disease get the better of me.

Jake Byrne, TE WI Badgers #82
Jake Byrne, TE WI Badgers #82

When I get melancholy about whether or not Joey will be able to succeed in the things that he loves, I reflect on the people in our lives that have encouraged us, and have shown us that anything is possible.  Including Joey.  For instance, Joey loves to play football, when he was 10 he started asking us if he could register for the  Jr. Crusader football league.  It’s a full on tackle football program.  Joey has an older brother, Tony, who started in the Jr. Crusader program, and is now the starting center on the Catholic Memorial HS football team,  they won state in 2012. So of course Joey wanted to follow in his brother’s footsteps.  I was concerned, because it’s hot, he doesn’t  do well in the heat, and the helmet! How could I see if he is sweating under the helmet?  Well he proved to me that he was ready when I got a facebook message one day from a young man who was a football player for our beloved Wisconsin Badger’s!  His name is Jake Bryne, and he had gotten a facebook message from Joey that went something like this:  “Dear Jake, my name is Joey, and I am 10 years old.  My mom doesn’t want me to play football because I have type 1 diabetes, I know that you have type 1, so could you talk to her for me?”  And Jake did talk to me, and his message was loud and clear: “Let him do whatever he wants to do, don’t ever hold him back because of type 1.”  Apparently Tony had also told Joey that he can do anything he wants, even play football because there was a player on the Badger’s with type 1.  So Joey took it upon himself to seek the help of a Professional in his eyes. By the way, Jake Byrne is now the TE for the San Diego Chargers, and we consider him to be part of our family.

Jake with our family
Jake with our family

When I get down, all I have to do is look at all the wonderful things that we are doing to educate people about type 1, and all the opportunities that we have experienced since Joey’s diagnosis. Joey was asked by the American Diabetes Association to represent the youth of WI as their 2013 & 2014 Youth Ambassador.  He speaks at the ADA’s Tour de Cure, the Walk to Stop Diabetes, the Gala and he has appeared in Diabetes Forecast and Diabetes Health magazines, and in the Milwaukee Business Journal.  He has been interviewed by Fox 6’s Tom Pipines, and the interview was over 6 minutes long!  Jake was on the video also. You can check it out here: http://fox6now.com/2013/07/22/pro-football-player-helps-boy-with-diabetes-live-his-dreams/

Joey, #67
Joey, #67

Some of the other wonderful things that Joey has gotten to do as the Youth Ambassador are represent youth at the Diabetes Day at the Capitol, he spoke in front of legislators and asked them to keep funding programs for diabetes.  He was also present at the Capitol when our Govenor signed a Proclamation that November 14th is WI World Diabetes Day!  We met Bret Michaels, Kendall Simmons, Dominique Wilkins, and so many more fascinating people, all who are living their dreams, oh, and they have type 1 diabetes.

Joey at our State Capitol on World Diabetes Day
Joey at our State Capitol on World Diabetes Day

Because of all of the great things we are doing, and hopefully educating along the way, I don’t really get down often.  But when I do, I think about Joey, and how he has taken this disease of his and turned it into an opportunity.  And I blog about how great he is. :0

Joey onTVTony and Joey football



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