Living with Diabetes
through the use of Community Advocacy, Social Media, & BLUE Flamingos!
In February 1999, Rachel’s child care provider expressed concerns about the amount of juice and water Rachel was drinking and she was very concerned about how much she was peeing through her diapers. Having diabetes in the family, Rachel’s mom knew the signs but didn't want to believe it.
On February 4, 1999 Rachel went to the doctor for her 18 month "well baby" appointment only to find that she was anything but a well baby. Rachel’s pediatrician then did a blood sugar check and there it was, a sugar of 374. Then, the words Rachel’s mom dreaded, “Yep, looks like Rachel has diabetes” pierced her like a knife. Rachel’s family was then instructed to go to Children’s Hospital in Austin where an endocrinologist would be waiting. Rachel’s mom dreaded and feared the idea of giving her baby a shot, but she learned VERY quickly that there is much more to diabetes.
For five days Rachel’s parents learned to check blood, give shots, count carbohydrates and sugars, measure insulin, and much more, and they use the term “learned” loosely, as most of diabetic care is a guessing game. Rachel was VERY lucky as many toddlers are much sicker when they are diagnosed.
Since that time, Rachel and her family have learned a lot since diagnosis and have participated in many activities to raise awareness. Rachel’s family has participated in 11 years of Walks to cure diabetes, and have attended several friends for life conferences. Rachel has spoken to classmates, PE classes, soccer teams, and businesses regarding awareness of type one diabetes and research.