The day your child was diagnosed with diabetes is a day you’ll never forget. Many parents choose to transform this memory into a positive by celebrating their child’s “dia-versary” on an annual basis. Here, seven parents share the special and diverse ways they mark the anniversary of their child’s type 1 diagnosis.
Use the Good China
“Every dia-versary, we serve a special meal with all my daughter’s favorite foods and break out the china, white tablecloth, and candles. Although we wouldn’t have chosen type 1 diabetes for our little girl, it is a big part of her life and our family’s life. We celebrate our daughter’s strength at these dinners; and as we blow out the candles at the end of the meal, we all make a special wish for a cure.”
-Katie, Los Angeles, mom of 9-year-old Katie, diagnosed three years ago
Hit it out of the Park
“We take my son to the batting cage on his ‘diabetes anniversary’ so he can vent his frustrations. He still has a lot of anger about being diagnosed a year and a half ago at age 8, but type 1 has made him stronger as well. As he hits the ball over and over again, he can see how strong he really is. And the determination he shows in the batting cage is the same determination he shows on the baseball field -- he never gives up!”
-Jackie, Teaneck, N.J., mom of 9-year-old Liam, diagnosed a year and a half ago
“There are a lot of things children feel like they can’t do when they first get a diabetes diagnosis. So on my child’s dia-versary, we do something she initially thought she couldn’t do anymore with type 1. For instance, when she was first diagnosed, she was worried she wouldn’t be able to go to a water park or go camping anymore. So we take her to a water park and celebrate all the things she can still do with proper prep and planning. It’s very empowering for the whole family.”
-Jenni, Salina, Kan., mom of 12-year-old Hannah, diagnosed four years ago
“On my child’s first anniversary of having diabetes, I came into her first grade classroom and talked about type 1. By educating the other kids about type 1, it improves her experience at school and takes away some of the other kids’ fear. We thought this was a great way to honor her special day.”
-Sherri, Santa Cruz, Calif., mom of 7-year-old Angelica, diagnosed two years ago
Raise Funds for a Cure
“By raising money for type 1 diabetes on Joe’s dia-versary, we feel we are making a positive impact and giving him the tools to make a difference. One year, we did a car wash; the next, we held a lemonade stand. He is always so proud to send in his donations to JRDF; and we hope that one day these donations contribute to a cure!”
-Andrea, Plano, Texas, mom of 9-year-old Joe, diagnosed four years ago
Spend One-on-One Time
“My daughter and I had a girls’ day out on the anniversary of her diabetes diagnosis. We got a mani-pedi, had lunch, and saw a chick flick. It was a fun way to honor her special day.”
-Christi, Atlanta, Ga., mom of 14-year-old Lauryn, diagnosed five years ago
“Our son’s D-Day is always honored with a trip to his favorite restaurant, where he is allowed to order whatever he wants without input from us (followed by appropriate insulin dosing). He enjoys his freedom that day and always looks forward to it!”
-Barbara, Salina, Kan., mom of 15-year-old Colin, diagnosed three years ago
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.
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