Well, here goes nothing - my very first Blog post. To say I am tentative would be a dramatic understatement. I have no idea about Blogging - what am I thinking? I just know that I have a lot to say - and I love helping others - so, hopefully, this will be the avenue that I use to do just that.
So, firstly, welcome to Islet Cells and other strange things.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself.
I am a 40 something mother of a lovely pigeon pair - J, who is 17 and C, who is 13. I have been happily married to The Dad for 19 years. We live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.
On 23 April, 2004, our entire world changed. C was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was the most traumatic thing that I have ever had to endure and I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy (not that I have any - I don't think).
The first year was, and still is, a blur. I honestly don't know how we survived but somehow, we did. The strongest of all was C - the one who had to endure countless blood glucose tests and endless needles. The one whose entire world had changed the most. SHE kept ME afloat.
We are now 8 years into our journey and we have learnt so much and met so many amazing people. C has had experiences that many others her age will never get to experience. And she has flourished - into an amazing, beautiful, strong young lady that I am SO immensely proud of.
I haven't worked in paid employment properly since her diagnosis - just a little bit here and a little bit there. With nightly testing a part of our "normal", I found it better for the whole family if I stayed home. Financially, we struggle each and every day but, emotionally, it's the best option.
My time at home has led to my involvement in Volunteer work - mostly for JDRF. Over the years, we have raised over $50,000 for JDRF. We have participated in Walk to Cure Diabetes every year, Ride to Cure Diabetes 3 times, Kids in the House 3 times and countless other events. Currently, I work in the Peer Support Program and have just taken on the role of Senior Mentor. I also sit on the Volunteer Awards Selection Panel and I am the extremely proud recipient of a JDRF Volunteer of the Year Award myself (that WAS before I sat on the panel - honestly - it WAS).
Just two months ago, I started an online support group called TOPIQ (Type One Parents in Queensland). We already have over 60 members and we are constantly growing. It is an amazing, comfortable place where the members can come for advice, support or to just let off steam - and I am SO proud of it. I have lots of plans for TOPIQ - but that's for another time.
I am a proud Advocate for people with type 1 diabetes. I will not rest if I feel that something needs to be done. This sometimes puts me in interesting situations but I'm sure it will be fun for you to read about my escapades.
Well, that's it for now ... thanks for joining me ... I hope I can do this justice ...