October 21, 2012

Guest post - "Greatness because of Diabetes"

Emma & Mini-Type1Rider 

Type1Rider.org is pleased to present a Guest post from one of our favorite Dmom's, Author, Advocate, and Creator (with her Daughter Emma) of 'Diabetic Barbie'...Amy Ermel. We also would like to express our most profound gratitude for the masterpiece in creating BY HAND, the Type1Rider Outfit pictured above. If you would like to inquire on how to get the accessories available for Girls & Boys (Including the Outfit in the picture), you can contact Amy HERE

First of all, I would like to say that I am honored to be writing a guest post for Type1Rider.org, thank you very much for the opportunity! 

My daughter, Emma is 8 years old and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 4  years ago. Since that day, I have learned so many things to say the least. I think I would like to dedicate this post to one in particular though...greatness.

When the doctor walked in the room and gave us the official diagnosis, I never would have thought that anything great or positive could have come of it. I thought that we were destined for a life of battles with food, needles, blood sugars, and insulin. I thought that it would consume us and take over every single aspect of our lives. I thought that there could never possibly be anything that would shine some light on our now darkened spirits. Boy was I wrong!

A mere 5 months after Emma was diagnosed, she approached me and asked if we could set up a lemonade stand out front of our house to raise money for "the people looking for a cure." She looked up at me with such innocent and determined eyes, that there was no way I could say no.

Seeing as how it was November, we convinced her to switch it to hot chocolate..contacted JDRF, made a few phone calls....and managed to raise $1200 in 3 hours time on November 14th (World Diabetes Day). As I sit here now thinking of that night, I can remember her face....her little 4 year old face...standing there with such hope in her eyes. She was on marshmallow duty naturally...what other job would a 4 year old want, right? She stood there for 3 hours filling cup after cup with marshmallows, chatting with hundreds of people about her diabetes, telling them that she was helping to find a cure. To say I was proud, would be the understatement of the century. That night was one of the first moments that I saw her "greatness". I saw the incredible amount of potential and drive and determination that lies within a person living with diabetes.

One day last year, Emma came home from school and told me that her friends had been talking about how there was going to be a bald version of a Barbie doll made to support kids dealing with cancer and other diseases involving hair loss. She once again looked up at me with those same innocent and determined eyes and asked me so matter of factly why there wasn't a doll out in the stores that had diabetes. I decided to make a toy insulin pump and blood sugar meter for her to play with on one of her own dolls. I thought there is no way that I could ever take on a toy manufacturer and help her make this dream a reality. I thought that it would just be left at that...a toy for only her to play with.

Well, Emma decided that she wanted other kids to be able to play with them too. She wanted other kids to have something that made them feel special. She wanted to keep going with this idea...and really, with that greatness and that drive that lies inside her....who was I to say no? So, we created a Facebook page to gain support for our campaign to make this a reality available in stores...and we have nearly 6,000 supporters.

I think back to that day of diagnosis and I want to wipe away the tears of that old me and force myself to look at my daughter through clear focused eyes. I want her to see that greatness...that drive...the flickering light that is the embers of hope that burns from her gaze. I see it now. I see it and I know that no matter what this life throws our way and no matter how many times diabetes tries to bring us to our knees.....we will make it. We will do better than just make it...we will leap over every hurdle with style and we will make things happen. We will make change happen all because of her greatness.

You can visit Amy's Blog HERE

To purchase a "virtual cup of hot chocolate" to help Emma support JDRF, please click on the following link: http://www.canadahelps.org/GivingPages/GivingPage.aspx?gpID=21134

To support Emma in her dream of a Diabetic Barbie, or other doll[s],  please click on the following link and click "like" on her Facebook page and share with others to spread the word! : http://www.facebook.com/DiabeticBarbie