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[IP] Re: Looking at the BIG PICTURE of diabetes

In a message dated 11/20/02 9:32:10 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
email @ redacted writes:

> Parents: What did you tell your child upon diagnosis was the reasoning for 
> them getting this disease? How have you helped your child deal? 

        As I head off today to join your mom in evaluating where those 
hard-fought research dollars from JDRf should be allocated, my "burden" is 
considerably lightened by reading your post & your appreciation of just how 
hard we fight. I was actually thinking about the research grants I'm reading 
today versus those I read 3 1/2 years ago, when I first started doing this 
volunteer work.....and how far we've come in just that short 
time...Baby-steps to some, but then again if it weren't for "baby steps", 
we'd ALL still be crawling around on our knees! LOL
       Also, as I approach the 5 year anniversary since my own breast cancer 
diagnosis, I am again reminded of the philosophy that I clung to during those 
days, written by an oncologist: My patients CAN live with the word INCURABLE, 
but they can't live without the word HOPE....I moderated a workshop at a 
Breast Cancer conference on Saturday & was amazed at the changes in treatment 
modalities in just the past few years, thanks to RESEARCH.
       When Melissa was diagnosed at age 9, somehow I found the words to say 
to her " if I had been diagnosed with diabetes at your age & didn't take good 
care of myself, you'd be sooooo angry with me now...as are my cousin's sons, 
who no longer have their dad with them.....so some day, when you're a mommy, 
I want your children to THANK you for having done whatever was needed to 
maintain your health". It seemed to "reach" her, & even now when she's 
struggling on her own in college, she knows that her family is ALWAYS there 
for her. As for "why" she was dx'd, I told her that she most likely inherited 
my autoimmune predisposition, along with my eyes & other genetic "gifts" like 
a familial history of undiagnosed depression. Hopefully, all the uphill roads 
our family has faced have taught her that "nobody gets off unscathed", but 
that if she faces her demons & asks for help, it's a much easier road to 
navigate, than if one marches forward, choking on the sand alongside the 
river De-Nial!
Renee (Melissa's pump mom /advocate)
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