Dear Carter: You’re a superhero, and so are we (The one when I need ALL to comment and support a great boy)
DOC and others: A great young man named Carter is having a hard time and doubting he can rule the world with diabetes on board. Please, please, comment below and tell him how you are, how you have and how he will! Let’s help this wonderful boy.
This note is to inform you that you are officially a super hero. I know you might not know this, but I suspect you might have suspected this and not wanted to share it. Because we’re letting the big secret out here:
People with diabetes are superhero, rock-star, over-the-top-awesomesause, can-do, wicked-wicked cool people. And you know what? While they might not say it out loud, the world knows that too.
I know you’ve not been having the easiest time with your life with diabetes. When you were diagnosed at age eight, nearly four years ago, you figured: I’ll see what this is all about. And it hasn’t stopped you. From fishing, playing basketball, swimming, even playing your trombone! But lately, I’m told, some other kids have put some thoughts into your head: like that you cannot do things as well because you have diabetes. Or that you won’t grow to be as powerful and amazing as they want to grow to be because of diabetes.
But here’s the thing: they’re just saying that because they’re intimidated. You have super powers. And they know it. This won’t be the last time in your life a person (or some people) who are not as great as you are try to bring you down to their level. So embrace it, and learn from it.
Last summer I was at a program called Friends for Life in Orlando. A really cool guy named Jay Hewitt was speaking. He has Type 1 and he does Ironman events. He does not just do them: he wins them. And here is what he said to the many, many people with diabetes in the room. (Forgive me for paraphrasing, Carter. But at least it makes you look up the word “paraphrasing”):
Jay said “You’re smarter and stronger and better equipped than all the other kids out there. They don’t know a carb from a carburetor. You do. You’re smart and determined and capable, more so than all the others. And they know it.”
Carter, I love that you are brave enough to take over when your uncle the pilot lets you fly his plane with him. I love that you want to do so much with your life. Because you will. I’m going to share some thoughts from my daughter Lauren below. Lauren was diagnosed when she was 6, and now she’s almost 22. Lauren has been: a student body president, a tennis star and champion (and even a working tennis pro!), a swim team member, a soccer and field hockey player (okay she was not great at those but no one can do everything!!), a driver, a college person, a friend and a leader. She has spoken before Congress and has organized huge parties that everyone had a blast at. She’s a super hero too because never has diabetes stopped her. I hope you’ll read what she has to say and then, read the comments below this blog from other super heroes like you.
Carter, I don’t have diabetes. I’m not as strong and smart and powerful and amazing as you. But I get to know people like you. And for that, I’m thankful. Keep on powering on, my friend. The DOC has your back.
I can do anything you can do.
Having had diabetes for almost sixteen years, I’ve seen and heard it all when it comes to people telling me what I “can’t do” with diabetes. One of the most annoying misconceptions with type one diabetes is that people believe it can ruin your life. Ever since the day I was diagnosed with diabetes, my parents have told me there is nothing that you can’t do. And that’s just how I have lived my life; doing anything I want to do.
There are many, many different types of what people like to tell me what I can’t do. I was eating, or should I correctly say, stuffing a cookie down my face at school the other day when one of my friends said to me “you’re a diabetic, you can’t eat cookies, you’re going to kill yourself.” Or when people tell me people with diabetes can’t drink alcohol. My favorite response to that one is “watch me.”
But there is one thing that someone said to me in all sixteen years of me having diabetes, that has stood out more than anything else, and that was when someone, who happened to be my good friend, told me: “well you’re probably going to die before me because you have diabetes anyway.”
As I said before, I’ve heard it all.
I let all of these comments slide, because these people clearly have no idea what they are talking about, and obviously they don’t know me well enough or understand my situation well enough to know that I have never let diabetes stop me from ever doing or trying or mastering or winning (or eating) anything I want.
I have heard a lot about kids getting bullied for having diabetes, or being told that they won’t be able to accomplish their life dreams because of diabetes, and I just want to get across how incredibly untrue this is. My life is exactly how I have always wished it to be, I’m at school in D.C., I have an awesome internship, I go out and have fun. Diabetes has never, ever stopped me from doing anything I’ve dreamed of doing.
As far as the people who love to tell me what I can’t do, I just want to tell them to keep it coming, because they’re only making me more determined to prove them wrong. And Carter: we’ll prove them wrong together.
Lauren, diagnosed at 6, now 21, rocking life
So Carter, that’s her story. Read below in the comments for more and more. And each and every one of us looks forward to following yours. Superhero: Go for it in life!