Supporting Families
Living with Diabetes
through the use of Community Advocacy, Social Media, & BLUE Flamingos!

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2012 Ambassador

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Ellie's story . . . .

 My story is just beginning.  I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in September of 2010 and even though that was only a short time ago, I have been told my journey with this disease will last my whole life, because there is no cure.  That's a long time since I am just 8 years old!  But, my parents decided right away that T1D would not be an obstacle for me, just a part of who I am, and that education was the path we would follow to make that happen.

Education about how to care for my T1D was the first thing we had to tackle, and it came fast and furious in those first few days.   The vocabulary alone was a big stumbling block with words and phrases like lancet, bolus, carb ratios, blood sugars,  glucose tabs, basal insulin, sharps containers, test strips, meters, glucagon, ketones, islets of Langerhans and pancreas.  Then I had to be educated on how to prick my finger, operate my meter and interpret the reading.  And the math!  I had to learn how to count carbohydrates in what I ate and then use an equation to decide how much insulin to take.  Finally, I had to be taught how to give myself an injection (a shot with a needle) using an insulin pen.

Education continued when I returned to my 3rd grade classroom at school.  I had to be the educator and inform my friends about my disease.  I told them my T1D was not contagious and that I didn't do anything to cause it to happen to me.  I let my class know I could eat the same foods they ate, I just had to take insulin.  I made certain my friends knew I may be doing some things differently, but that I was the same fun-loving Ellie who likes to laugh and giggle.

Education from other T1D families is what my parents sought when we had questions about my disease.  Questions like "What low-carb snacks do you use" to "Where do you store your medicine" and" What is in your T1D supply bag" were asked and answered through online communities.  My mom also found lots of personal weblogs where families shared their tips, difficulties and success stories with T1D.  And, of course, Noah the Diabetes Dude was a great place to find helpful information!

Education will lead to a cure, my Mom says.  So I decided that I wanted to be a part of the solution and spread awareness about Type 1 diabetes.  I am so excited to be part of Noah's  Ambassador Program so I can educate even more people!  My story may be just beginning, but I am already anxious to write about the happy ending with a cure for T1 diabetes.