Name: Darrell Age: 17 Year Diagnosed: 2001 Location: Placentia, Ca

"Well, one of the funniest things that has happened to me has probably happened to a lot of you. What diabetic hasn't had someone think that you have drugs on you? Well that has happened to me a lot lately since I started attending college. Since the beginning of the semester almost 2 months ago, the campus security has pulled me aside into the security office 6 times to question me about my "drug use on campus." After the most recent time this happened, somebody came up to me after asking if they could buy some drugs off me...awkward...

To everyone who does not have diabetes or a friend with diabetes, let's get something straight: WE DO NOT CARE THAT YOUR CAT HAS DIABETES! It's not the same thing, people!

I was at a park for a little kids birthday one time my blood sugar dropped to a crazy low number. I had forgotten my juice box that day, but no worries because what birthday party doesn't have juice and candy, right? wrong...There was no juice or even cake! it was all organic stuff (that poor kid.) The only thing they had that wasn't organic were those cookies with like 2 inches of bright colored frosting on the top. I hate those things. So my mom started scraping the frosting off them put it on the inside of my cheek and made me just suck the sugar out of the stuff. That was definitely a lower point of my diabetic life.

It's ok to admit that things suck. To be perfectly honest, diabetes is hard. Yes, it is good to have a positive outlook and stay optimistic. But if you never admit to yourself how hard things can get and have a sense that everything should be perfect all the time, you will end up making it harder on yourself. So admit that it can get hard sometimes; accept that it will be hard sometimes; then make the best of the situations."

Best piece of advice from Darrell's mom: "Diabetes is not a math equation. It is so easy to look at the meter numbers and wonder where we "failed". Low numbers get juice. High numbers get insulin. How can I fix it for next time? It can drive you crazy if you let it. Don't chase the numbers. I was blessed to have a pediatrician with a T1D child who gave me the best advice. He told me that I didn't fail and that this disease just stinks. Even when we do the "right thing" sometimes it doesn't work. Diabetes doesn't play fair. Don't look at your child with diabetes eyes first. Remember this is your wonderful, beautiful, amazing child who just happens to have diabetes. Don't deprive your child of a birthday cake so his blood sugar numbers are perfect. Obviously caring for our child's health is extremely important and we know they feel better when their blood sugars are in the correct range. But, making sure our child is happy, loved, and not feeling like a burden is just as important. Let them be kids. Find a support group for your child but also for you. Having other parents who truly understand how I feel has been such a huge support over the last 15 years. I'm sure you've heard this before but it is very true. It will get easier. You will still have frustrating and emotional days but it will become a part of your life and be easier to manage. Pray for a cure but be thankful for the treatment advancements that make our day to day life easier. We often think to pray for our children but we also need to remember to pray for ourselves. When we are strong, it it easier to take care of our children."