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How My Daughter's Diagnosis Changed My View On Diabetes

Kirsten's Story

Everyone has moments in life that rock them to the core, ones that change their thinking or put them on a whole new path.  For some, those moments are joyous things like marriage or the birth of a child.  For others, those moments might be shrouded in challenges like the loss of something or someone important.  I think those challenging moments are essential to life because you never know what you are capable of without them.  Like many people, I have had numerous positive and challenging moments that have stopped me in my tracks, but my daughters Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis brought me to my knees.  

I have been actively managing my own T1D since my diagnosis over 26 years ago.  The management of my T1D has just been a daily thing to do like getting dressed or making my bed.  I didn’t go out of my way to share the literal ups and downs of living with T1D.  My mentality was “it just is what it is” but I also thought the act of sharing would result in people sympathizing or pitying me for something that was my reality.  I didn’t want people to feel bad for me, I wanted them to see past my T1D and see me.  Of course, if someone asked me about giving myself an insulin shot or taking my blood sugar levels, I would talk with them about what I was doing and why but for the most part I keep my invisible disease invisible.  

This all changed when my daughter was diagnosed with T1D in December of 2018 at the age of 18 months.  Suddenly, I realized that I couldn’t continue to be quiet about life with T1D.  I realized that sharing is a critical part of the journey with this autoimmune disease - the more I share, the more people know, and the more they know, the more they understand what’s its like to live with T1D.  Without this basic understanding, there is nothing - no support, no love, no fight for a cure.    

When I tell people about Nora’s diagnosis, generally the first response is “she’s so lucky to have you”.  I give a smile and a nod but think to myself “I’m lucky to have her”.  Her moment has changed me - the way I think about this disease, the way I interact with it, the way I talk about it.  Now, I’m shouting from the rooftops that we have T1D and that we will continue to rise up and do our part to educate and fight for a cure.

Follow Kirsten's Journey

Kirsten McCarthy lives in Dallas, Tx with her husband of 14 years and their 3 daughters.  You can follow her journey at www.kamccarthydallasmommy.com and on Instagram as @type1of3.

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