Our Diabetes Story

February 23, 2015

When I began this little Preschool 22 years ago, my youngest son, Daniel was only 19 months old.  Less than a year later, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

For those of you who are not familiar with this life-threatening illness, it is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce insulin.

In simple terms, without insulin naturally produced by the pancreas, the body is unable to convert the food we eat into energy to fuel the body.  Without diagnosis and appropriate treatment, every system in the human body will fail and shut down.

In order to prevent this from happening, the affected individual must use artificial insulin given by multiple daily shots or infused by an insulin pump worn 24/7.  To stay healthy, diabetic individuals must constantly monitor blood sugar levels, carbohydrate intake, level of exercise and doses of insulin.

Now imagine doing all this with a 2 year old!

Although it came as a surprise, we were not shocked when Daniel was diagnosed because his father had also grown up living with diabetes.  We knew our children were at greater risk of developing the disease.

However, that did not make it any easier to accept or manage.  We still had to overcome the idea of sticking needles in our 2 year old multiple times each day and being manic about monitoring what he ate and when.

We learned so much about how the human body metabolizes different kinds of nutrients and how foods eaten in different combinations work differently on the blood sugar levels.

On a personal note: I cannot say enough good things about the doctors and staff at Nemours Childrens Clinic.  They are top notch in the field of Juvenile (Type 1) Diabetes.   They were always our partners in helping Daniel to stay healthy, not only physically but mentally as well.

Living With Type 1 Diabetes

In spite of his diabetes, we decided immediately that we wanted Daniel to lead as normal a life as possible.

This meant lots of advance planning on our part.  It also meant encouraging him to be as aware of and involved in his day to day diabetes management as possible.

I realized very quickly that God had led me to Highlands Precious Gifts for a reason.

If I had been working any other job in the “real world,” I would have had to give it up.  There was not a childcare program around that I trusted to perform the hands-on management Daniel’s care required.

Instead I had the perfect place for him with me and a team of eager and caring teachers.  They were all very willing to learn about Daniel and his diabetes.

Today, those same caring teachers continue to provide high quality care for many other diabetic preschoolers just like Daniel.

My Gift to You

So, this is the gift I wish to give other parents of children with diabetes: a normal preschool experience without extra worry.  

  • YES, there is a Preschool that understands the dangers and blessings of living with Type 1 Diabetes.
  • YES, I know how hard it is to let go of your child knowing all the things that could go wrong.
  • YES, we can do finger sticks and calculate carb ratios and activate insulin pumps.
  • YES, we can even give shots when necessary.

YES, we can do all this and still provide your child with a wonderful, educational preschool experience.

We are not doctors, nurses or medical professionals. However, we are educators who are trained in the specifics of each child’s individual diabetes management program.

Our primary goal is to give your child a safe and healthy environment in which to learn and grow.

By the way, I just have to say that Daniel is now 23 years old, is a college graduate from James Madison University in Virginia, is on his way to graduate school in the fall, and is healthier than any of us!

Leave a reply
Choosing the Right Preschool For Your Family

Leave Your Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Enroll Today

We are currently enrolling new families for Fall 2015! Drop by our office for a tour, or contact us to enroll in preschool.

Learn More