Living with Diabetes
through the use of Community Advocacy, Social Media, & BLUE Flamingos!
My family’s fight against Diabetes began over 20 years ago when my Daddy was diagnosed at age 13, and then my uncle (his twin brother) just a few years later. From the time I was born, we were walking and raising money as a family in search of a cure. I remember watching my Daddy test his blood and closing my eyes because I didn’t want it to hurt him…little did I know that when I was 3 years old, I would feel that pain myself. I was diagnosed on September 11, 2008 at age 3, and remember my stay in the hospital very clearly. I have prayed every day for a cure.
I talk about finding a cure all of the time. When I sat on Santa’s lap at the mall last Christmas and he asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said “a cure”. When my Mommy and I see a shooting star and she asks me what I wished for, I say “a cure”. When my brother and sister and I throw money into a fountain, I wish for a cure every single time. I am beginning to think that maybe wishes don’t work for me.
I am five years old, and already, I have become an advocate for Diabetes Awareness in many ways. My family has one of the largest walk teams in New Jersey, and continues to grow. I talk about my Diabetes to Girl Scout troops, schools, and sports clubs, and try to teach as many people as I can about the signs and symptoms of Diabetes. I hope that I can help people to understand that although I prick my fingers 14 times a day to test my blood, I still love to polish my fingernails like them. I try to teach them that although I have to stop between innings during softball, and eat glucose tablets at soccer games so that I do not fall down or get sick, I still feel the same excitement when I hit a home run as they do. I want them to know that although I have to have an insulin pump connected to my body all day, every day, to stay alive, that I still like to play dress up and pretend that I am a princess- just like the other little girls I know.
I answer grownups politely and educate them when they ask if my insulin pump is a camera, which happens more often than you can imagine. I watch grown-ups wince when my mom checks my blood in public, and I don’t even cry anymore when she does it. I do have to get my site changed every few days and although I still wrestle and cry every single time we do it, I am trying to be braver.
I want a cure so that my Mommy can have a full night’s sleep which she hasn’t had in almost two years from getting up every 3 hours every night to check my blood while I sleep. I want a cure so that I can go to school and not have to be scared that my blood sugar will drop and I can just be a normal kid. I want a cure so that my Daddy and I can play on the beach together one day and not worry about having to set an alarm to check our blood and reconnect our insulin pumps. I want a cure so that all of the kids I have met who also have Diabetes from all over the country and all over the world can live long and healthy lives. I want a cure for me; I want a future without Diabetes.
Avery Green (age, 5)