BENEFITING: Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi
Three years ago, Bella was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and we began this life that many of us call our "New Normal". Suddenly, you have to think about what you eat, and stick little needles into your baby's finger tips, or worse, give full blown shots 5 or more times a day. It's scary. It's exhausting. It's overwhelming. As a parent, you act like you have it under control, but you are afraid to sleep at night because you are afraid of what may happen. It was while I was going through that part of our "new normal" that our family first visited Camp Kandu. We were surrounded by other families just like us. They also dealt with diabetes, yet they looked well rested. Their children ran around like normal kids. They ate pizza and ice cream like normal kids... Because, gasp! They WERE normal kids! And there began our new life. Twice a year, The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi gathers it's families, newly diagnosed and veterans to offer support, some of the greatest minds in the diabetes field- researchers, doctors, motivational attitude boosters, and a ton of crazy, hyper kids and we call this experiment Camp Kandu. It is amazing! I learned that my worst fears are so rare that I needn't bat an eyelash, that my child was just as normal as any other kid and that she could do whatever she wanted( who was I kidding!?! Bella??? Hahaha). The Diabetes Foundation took us under their wing and gave us an amazing support system of other familes and experts who actually know us! Now, we are the veterans. We visit newly diagnosed families at Batson Children's Hospital and offer our own support. Bella created a program called Bella's Baskets where we also deliver a basket full of snacks that are helpful when you suddenly have to change how you eat. We even throw in some good stuff like gummy bears and Skittles for lows ( because they taste way better than juice and crackers!) We talk to families who need extra education or just someone to help them navigate through this new life they have. The Diabetes Foundation goes out to schools all over the state and trains nurses and teachers how to properly care for students with T1 diabetes. They assist families who cannot find or afford life saving insulin and supplies. They have offered an ear and a shoulder many times, for myself and my friends. Because once you become part of The DFM Family, you meet so many wonderful people- this isn't an organization. It's a family, with two amazing women at the helm, who mission in life is to insure that kids like Bella have every single opportunity to lead a healthy life, not in spite of diabetes but overcoming it. Please help us to raise money for The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. We will participate in the Walk For Diabetes on October 4th and would love to have our friends and family there with us! One last thing, every dollar that is raised for the DFM, STAYS IN MISSISSIPPI. This isn't money to fund a cure or pad some pockets in a corporate office. This money helps people I know. It buys insulin, medications, supplies, and CGMS. It sends kids to camp ( Bella received a scholarship to attend Twin Lakes this year). This money helps real families like mine. It's helped me. It's helped Bella. We are honored to be a part of the DFM family.