One Family’s Journey…and how OE was privileged to be involved.
While visiting Utah several years ago we found ourselves at the hospital with our then six year old daughter. She had been exhibiting symptoms over the previous weeks that were concerning, but could have easily been passed off as something not serious- thirst, frequent urination, pale skin, vision complaints, and mood swings. Some of the symptoms appeared to be escalating, and I received a pressing urge to message my sister and request a finger prick. My little sister had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) when I was in high school, and the symptoms were all too familiar. She obliged, of course, and high blood sugar was confirmed. Knowing prolonged high blood sugar leads to Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and results in dangerous consequences, we exchanged plans to return home to Colorado for a trip to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. After two days of thorough training we were thrust into a world of constant blood-sugar monitoring, carbohydrate counting, multiple daily insulin injections, and the literal and figurative highs and lows that accompany this disease. Our sweet girl was, and continues to be, so strong, but “managing” this disease is far more worrisome and complicated than can be understood from an outside view, especially at the outset.
Distinct from and less common than other types of Diabetes, T1D is an auto-immune disease in which the body attacks and destroys insulin producing cells in the pancreas. This leaves the body unable to perform vital processes, and wreaks havoc on other crucial body functions. T1D does not discriminate, finding people of every race, age, and socioeconomic status, and is currently non-preventable and incurable. We celebrate living in this time of great medical and technological advancement, which has provided more effective treatment and a promising future for our daughter, but we face the continual reality that the insulin injections that keep our daughter alive come with a high price, both in terms of life threatening risks and exorbitant price tags.
For many T1D families the diagnosis becomes a call to action- a call to empathize, to educate, and to advocate on behalf of our children and the cause. This is absolutely true for our family! We are so pleased to take part in this collaboration with Outdoor Element and the Children’s Diabetes Foundation (CDF), to provide the Kodiak Survival Paracord Bracelet for patients of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes who are part of the Helping Hands program- a program developed to help families in exceptional need with the financial burdens of this disease. This custom “Diabetes” version of the Kodiak duals as a medical I.D. bracelet, and becomes an empowering symbol and effective “survival” braid for these kids who are literally in survival mode 24/7.
You can also take part in supporting these families, and give a generous contribution to CDF, by purchasing the bracelet for someone with Diabetes in your life. Our deepest gratitude to Outdoor Element, the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, the Barbara Davis Center, and each of you, for helping us give back to this passionate, dynamic community.
The Manuele Family