Recently, we celebrated Kaitlyn’s 5-year dia-versary! (Who came up with that term anyway? It’s a bit weird, but that’s what everyone has always called it, so I guess we just kinda go with it!) I really can’t believe that it’s been that long since she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. We weren’t sure how we were going to get through the first month, and now it’s been five years.
It seems a little odd that we would celebrate what marks the beginning of a chronic disease, but we don’t see it that way. For us, it’s all about celebrating the kind of person that Kaitlyn is—patient, determined, friendly, clever, capable, and brave. We also celebrate what she’s accomplished and how far we’ve come as a family in learning how to manage diabetes. In the words of Kaitlyn, “We’re pretty much awesome, because we can handle anything.”
I love hearing about what other families have done to celebrate their kids’ dia-versaries. Some have thrown parties with friends and family complete with diabetes-themed games, food and party favors. Others have given thoughtful gifts to their son or daughter (or awards, like these printable dia-versary medals) or taken them on a special trip or outing. Another idea is to do something to raise awareness or raise money for type 1 research.
We kept it pretty simple this year—a special dinner out with the family. Kaitlyn chose her favorite restaurant, and we had a nice meal followed by hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles. We all talked about why we love Kaitlyn and how we think she’s so brave. The nurses at school also wished her a happy day, and many of our online friends sent their well wishes too. In addition, we asked Kaitlyn to come up with five wishes of her own. If she could have anything in the world to help with diabetes, these are the things she said she would wish for:
- A dark purple pump that would magically deliver insulin with no site, and I could also play games, watch movies, and listen to music on it!
- A CGM that would talk to me when I’m high or low.
- A blood sugar meter that you don’t need to poke my finger for. It would just sense what my blood sugar is, and I could wear it like a watch or a bracelet.
- A magic candy that is like fruit gummies that I could eat and my blood sugar would automatically go to 100.
- A carb-counting machine that looks kind of like a microwave. You would put a plate of food in it, and it would tell you how many carbs there are.
So I send these wishes out to the universe. Maybe someone somewhere can make these wishes come true for this sweet little girl. When I asked her about wishing that there would be a cure for diabetes, she said, “No way! I’m too used to it!” But universe…please add that one to the list for me. I’m pretty sure Kaitlyn could get used to no diabetes!
Someday in the future, your child could be marking his or her dia-versary with a Lilly Diabetes Journey Award, celebrating individuals who have managed their diabetes with insulin for 10, 25, 50, and 75 years. Newly added to the program, the 10-year award recognizes that a successful first decade can help establish success for a lifetime. Click here for more info.
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.