Where Do You Live?
Indian Trail, North Carolina
Tell Us About Your Family…
Kendal and I have been married for 15 years this November. We met and started dating in High School. We are both only children and grew up in Matthews, NC. We have two children; Aedan, who is 11, and Gracie, who is 8. Kendal works as a structural engineer in Charlotte, and I am a stay-at-home mom, homeschooler, and Director/ Tutor for the 7th grade through Classical Conversations. This is our eighth year homeschooling. When we aren’t running from Monroe to Charlotte, and back again, we are at home, watching tv together. Aedan enjoys playing video games, reading, and playing with LEGOS and Star Wars toys. Gracie loves art, princesses, and Barbies.
How Has Type 1 Diabetes Impacted Your Family?
Gracie was diagnosed last year with Type 1 Diabetes. Many well-meaning people assume she can’t have sugar, or must have a restricted diet. Often Type 1 is confused with Type 2. Type 1 is Autoimmune, in which the body attacks the cells surrounding the pancreas, which slowly ceases functioning. A person with Type 1 is completely insulin dependent for life. Changes in diet can help reduce the amount of insulin a person needs to take, but it will not cure the disease.
Gracie receives insulin through injections. We also have to monitor her blood glucose levels by pricking her finger, drawing blood, and using a meter to check her levels. Her levels must be checked before she eats, every time. She must receive insulin after every meal and every snack.
Diabetes has changed our lives in that I must monitor and count all carbohydrates that she eats. I have really sharpened my mental math skills! It can be quite stressful, as we are always chasing a “moving target” with her levels, trying to keep her in a healthy range.
Everything affects Gracie’s bgl’s. Sleep, stress, physical activity, sickness, even down to which specific pizza place we order from can affect her ranges. But I am so thankful for the medical technology that is available to her. It is manageable.
How Do You Participate In Your Community?
Both Kendal and Aedan are incredibly active with Charlotte Boy Scout Troop 33. Gracie and Aedan both dance at Bonita’s School of Ballet. We are members of Church of the Redeemer, which has been a wonderful source of support for us.
What Would You Tell A Local Family With A New Diagnosis?
I would first tell them to breathe. I would remind them how much God loves them and will carry them through even the most difficult times. They need to not be afraid to ask for help. And above all, patience for adjusting to the new normal. Find friends that share in similar struggles. You don’t have to do it alone!!!