I spent a couple of years being a nanny to my two beautiful great-nieces. I had so much fun with them, learning about them and growing to love them deeply.
During that time, the oldest was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 8 1/2 years old.
It was a terrifying time for her family as they learned all the things that could happen and all the things they had to do. This sensitive little girl had to learn to poke herself multiple times a day and make herself bleed. She had to learn how to calculate the "carbs" in everything she ate. She had to be brave - as did her sister and mom and dad.
But this family rose to the occasion. Daddy bought Ava a punching bag so she could "punch out diabetes" when she was frustrated. Mommy bought her a journal to write down her thoughts. They encouraged but never coddled. This is the new reality. And Ava handled it all like a trooper.
She is now soon to be 14 years old - a smart girl that does great in school, has friends, is an athlete and lives like any other teenager - except she still has to check her blood sugar, count her carbs and be constantly aware of her diabetes.
In honor of Ava and every other child that has T1D - #WearBlue and learn what you can about this disease and how you can help in the research on #WorldDiabetesDay