Madi: "I found out I had diabetes right after we dropped my brother off at school. We went to the doctor and he told me I was diabetic, and I had no idea what that meant, so I thought I would just go home, but I went to the hospital instead. I was there for about 3 or 4 days. I was scared when I found out that I had to go to the hospital, but when I got there I was actually happy, and it wasn’t that bad. I have decided that I want to be a doctor someday at a children’s hospital. If I met a girl my age who just found out that she had diabetes, I would tell her ‘You are going to have to get used to being poked all the time, but it is going to be okay.’"
Mark: "I am impressed every day at how brave and strong she is. I have pricked my finger twice now, just seeing what it feels like, it is hard to believe that she does it countless times. It hurt me twice and I am a grown man, and she doesn’t even think about it. She even jumps right back into cheerleading after she does it. Some days she will be weak, low, and shaky, but she always does her best in cheerleading, and she is as good as any of them. She is a good daughter, she is a good soul, and she is a good person. I hate that any of this happened to her, but I think she is one of the best people to advocate for it."
Alyssa: "I am so proud of Madi, she is responsible and I feel like she just goes with it. She has such a sweet soul and temperament for all of this. When she was in the hospital and first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, her dad was pretty amazing right away about administering insulin injections. I remember sitting there trying to give Madi an injection for the first time and my hand was shaking-- I just couldn’t do it. I remember hearing Madi’s little voice just saying ‘It's okay, Mamma, It didn’t hurt very much. You aren’t quite as good as my daddy yet, but you can do it.’ I just think that it is pretty amazing that although she is the one going through all of this, she encourages me. Madi is insulin dependent and will be for the rest of her life. She cannot outgrow Type 1 and there is no cure. She must count her carbs before every meal and figure her insulin/carb ratio every time she eats. She has to check her blood sugar every couple of hours, and administer a minimum of four injections every day to avoid a comma or other serious complications. She does all of this daily with such grace and strength. We know that Madi will be able to do anything that she wants to, and this will just teach her to be more responsible and tough through her journey." This is our new normal, and we just roll with it.
UPDATE ON MADI (JULY 2016)
Madi has new technology to help her manage her Type 1 Diabetes!! We are most excited about her Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor. It checks her glucose levels every five minutes and relays that information to our smart phones via a transmitter that is attached to her body. This enables us to see Madi’s blood sugar levels at any time no matter our location. This is especially helpful as it alerts us in the middle of the night if her levels go too low or too high. We can treat her quickly and lessen the risk of kidney failure, blindness, amputations, seizures, and comas. She also wears an Omnipod that has made her life significantly easier. She changes it every three days, and the device she uses to control her pump also acts as her meter. Best of all, she has no tubing! It has given her immense freedom, fewer injections, and less pain in treatment.
In addition, Madi recently served as a youth ambassador for the local Junior Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Chapter, publically shared her story at the Jingle Bell Bash last November to help raise funds for research and spread awareness, and helped organize a team the past two years to participate in a walk to raise additional funds for T1D research. She just came home from her first Type 1 Diabetes Resident Camp in Kansas and picked up competitive swimming this summer as well. She continues to persevere like a little warrior and we could not be more proud.