Meeting as Friends

T1DI had been invited a few times, through some of the groups I am a part of on Facebook. I hadn’t been ready, the thought of packing up my sons diabetic supplies, and snacks and heading off to a group of people I didn’t even know was too overwhelming for me to commit to. Yet today, I decided I was going to go. I packed up my kids, snacks, and Carter’s diabetic supplies, after all, the meeting was essentially in my backyard. Apprehensively I walked up to a group where there weren’t any familiar faces, just a few people I’d spoken to online. I was amazed at the warmth we received within our welcome, it truly was as if we were meeting as friends.  The gathering we went to happened to be a rally for Diabetic Alert Dogs, something I am very interested in for Carter.  The workings of it all are amazing, and just being there to witness the bond these dogs have with their families and the diabetic kids was absolutely heartwarming.  It was freeing, being able to be around people who knew what I was going through and had wonderful stories and advice for me.  Here I sit only 3.5 months in and I was speaking with people who have been surviving and managing Type 1 Diabetes for over 30 years.  To say that this afternoon was encouraging and helpful would be an understatement.  Though I walked into a group where the focal point was the training of Diabetic Alert Dogs, sans a dog, everyone embraced me as the mother and caregiver to a Type 1 Diabetic 21-month-old.  Every clinic appointment we have for Carter, the social worker questions my emotional wellbeing as the caregiver and encourages support groups.  I never wanted to go to a support group, the thought of sitting around and discussing the trials seemed as though it wasn’t for me.  It was so great to have such a positive experience and be surrounded by people who knew the struggle but didn’t dwell on that, we focused on the positive aspects that cradled the trails.  I would encourage any newly diagnosed family to reach out and find a group that you would like to know more about and bite the bullet and get out there.  I can’t put a price on validation when it comes to diabetes, and being able to speak with people and families who have been where I am and persevered and have success stories gave me the hope I have been searching for.  This group from today will never really be able to grasp how much they have positively effected me and my family, but tonight diabetes seems less daunting and more encouraging.

For more information on Diabetic Alert Dogs, please check out

2 thoughts on “Meeting as Friends”

  1. Alyson:
    It was wonderful meeting you, Carter, and Ashley yesterday. I’m so glad you took the plunge and decided to join us! Canine Hope really is one big family, and each of us are always willing to answer questions, offer encouragement, or simply be a sounding board for you to vent. Although T1D is overwhelmingly daunting, it IS possible to manage and still live a long, healthy life. As you and I discussed, with my 30+ years experience and some crazy times in my 20s , I’ve experienced some scary events with T1, but have thrived and succeeded. I am always happy to share what I’ve learned along the way and offer suggestions to help make things easier for Carter (and YOU).
    I’m glad I was able to meet you and hope we’ll see you again soon!

    1. Thank you so much Johanna! It was so wonderful meeting you as well, as you are a wealth of knowledge! Thank you for taking the time to talk with me about some of my concerns and offer your experience. I look forward to seeing you all again soon!

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