My 8th birthday, in 1991, was crystal clear as I sat in the patient bed at Children’s Hospital with a new diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. While one would think the day could have felt like a nightmare, Children’s managed to make it uber fun and a positive memory.

Nonetheless, each year I reflect on my birthday, but more so, in the last decade, it’s been far less about getting older but reviewing the gifts I’ve learned about life with type 1 diabetes such as…

  1. Life is short, but also not perfect. Sure, my pancreas is broken, but I am alive, and I’m alive with this disease at the absolute best time in history. I am grateful for the tools I have and the community that’s very easy to connect with.
  2. Parenting is hard. Parenting as a type 1 mom may be harder, but no one said it was meant to be easy. As a daughter of a father who had type 1, it has taught me empathy and compassion in a way a textbook never could. My hard, in a way, helps me with my number one goal, and that is to raise good humans.
  3. Health is wealth. I eat like it matters because, in the short and long-term, it does.
There are a number of lessons and failures I could list from the past 30 years but I will sum it up as this:

“I believe everyone has a “hard,” and mine happens to be type 1 diabetes.
And with this, I have the opportunity to design the life I want and that involves how I respond to the hard and stressors. I will continue to do my best to use my condition to make the road for others easier and remind myself of the importance of having grace with my efforts.”