Monday, December 27, 2010

The Diabetes HOPE Project

First off, I am a Type 1 Diabetic who has lived with this disease since I was 9. I am obviously not the first child (nor have I been the last) to be diagnosed with this disease. Nor was my family the first or last to be dealt these cards and thrust into a foreign life. Living with diabetes changes us out of necessity.

Sometimes, even for the better.

This life-altering event lead me, in October of 2009, to apply for a grant at my university called the ORCA Grant. The project I proposed to work on was to create two books based on children who have been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes--one for the child diagnosed, the other for their parents. The point of these books is to help others through the initial shock. This project was created to provide support, humor, and hope to families confronting diabetes by giving them down-to-earth, useful information on how to deal with every day situations that involve a diabetic child. In a neat turn of events, I was put in contact with author Rick Walton, who, along with Co-Author Kristyn Crow, had already written a book for children that needed an illustrator. Being a trained Illustrator, it fit perfectly into the project--I no longer had to write the children's book, I would illustrate it. But that still left the book for parents, which is where you come in.

I need help providing others with stories. Your stories.

My one voice and my one experience aren't enough to give other families help. If you know anyone who was diagnosed as a child (12 and under) with Type 1 Diabetes or if you are friends with the parent(s) of a child who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, I could use the connections. I need more information. I have already tried contacting people and no one has really responded. Please help! I am not spamming you looking for personal information. What I want is merely stories on what it felt like to be diagnosed (or have your child diagnosed) and how you (or your spouse or family) have personally learned to cope since the diagnosis with things like blood sugars, vacationing, school, and life in general.

Providing inspiration and hope to families in need is the whole goal of this project.

Please help me, and together we can help others!

Contact me at


Will Strong said...

Maria, are you still in contact with Rick Walton? I know that he was working on some diabetes stories that needed illustrations. He would be just the person to talk to.

Johnson-n-Johnson said...

I am brandi. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 5 (I am now 30) I am living proof that good diabetic control and parents who love and support their children allows for a healthy life. I have conceived and had a healthy baby. I have an A1C of 5.8, and I would LOVE to help!

Traci said...

I would love to help too. I am a Type 1 diabetic who was diagnosed at age 12-I am now 25. I am in good control and have very supportive/caring parents. There have been ups and downs dealing with the disease but couldn't have done it without a wonderful family.

Maria Mercer said...

Thank you so much for being willing to help! If you wouldn't mind emailing me so I can chat with you via email that would be amazing.

I appreciate the help! Thank you so much!