Carb DM’s mission is to build a supportive community that improves the quality of life and health of all those affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D).
The Carb DM community fosters connections among people with diabetes, their loved ones, and medical professionals, promotes learning, and develops strategies for thriving with type 1 diabetes.
Carb DM has been fulfilling its mission for Eden and her family since the day she was diagnosed. Read her story to learn how.
I can still remember the day of my diagnosis, February 5, 2010. Sitting outside school, being taken to the doctor and then shipped off to a friend’s house, I had no clue that my world would change so suddenly in just a few short hours. On the way home from the doctor, my mother told me that I had type 1 diabetes. I remember thinking, “I’ll never be able to eat candy again!” I remember thinking, “What will my friends think of me?” But most of all, I remember thinking that I would never be able to be normal again. At the hospital, I decided that I would ignore this. It wasn’t happening to me, this was somebody else in my body. I felt small, smaller than I had ever felt and I didn’t like the feeling. My parents tried to be optimistic, telling me all about the exciting new studies and how I could get an insulin pump to manage my blood sugars more easily. I was having none of it. I screamed at them until they left me alone, resigned to trying again at the next available opportunity.
About a week after my diagnosis, my mother and I visited a friend of my sister’s. Her little sister had type 1, and her mother gave us all sorts of advice – get a ketone meter, stock up on supplies ahead of time. And then came perhaps the most helpful advice of all – talk to a parent of a girl with type 1 about my age. This parent was Tamar Sofer-Geri. We met up for dinner, and I remember being in awe of everything that Tia could do. I immediately changed my mind, begging for a Medtronic pump. Three months later, I had one. I read the manual at least five times, walking around the house for weeks with my pump attached to an orange. Tia was a great help in learning how to use my pump and how to be proud of who I am.
I can remember the very first Carbs in the Park. Tia and I helped set up and biked over to the park together. It was such a thrill to meet even more kids with Type 1, to exchange stories and tips and to feel like I was a part of the community. I was beginning to feel like I could continue to be who I was even with Type 1 Diabetes.
Carbs in the Park continued to be a program I attended for several years. My favorite Carb DM program, though, quickly evolved to be the Mother Daughter Weekend. I loved having time to connect with my mother over Type 1 Diabetes and get her to understand my perspective. I loved listening to some of my local female role models talk about their own experiences with Type 1 Diabetes in their lives. I loved hearing about body image and communication and devices and driving and understanding who I am and connecting all of these topics to diabetes. Most of all, I loved understanding that every other girl my age with Type 1 Diabetes was going through the same dilemmas that I was.
I am a junior in high school. I drive to school every day, I ride horses, and I build and program robots. I want to be a biomedical engineer when I graduate from college. Everything I do, every challenge I overcome with Type 1 Diabetes in real life has been made possible by community support. I’ve gotten advice from adults with experience with insulin pumps on what I should do with my pump when I ride. I’ve learned how to adjust my basals when at a robotics competition so that I’m not always going low. I want to become a biomedical engineer so that I can work on the artificial pancreas and improve the lives of others with Type 1. All of these ideas and all of this support, all of it comes from the amazing community that is only strengthened by Carb DM. Carb DM has improved my experience with diabetes drastically. I have been able to connect with the type 1 community and grow into my type 1. Carb DM provides the support I need to fully feel comfortable while growing up and finding my way in the world. Any questions I have, anytime that I don’t know quite what I’m doing, and Carb DM is there. Now I feel completely comfortable being forthright with my Type 1 Diabetes, testing in front of acquaintances and friends without feeling like I’m being judged. Although I’m still learning who I am, Carb DM has allowed me to feel completely comfortable in my own skin in relation to diabetes. I know how to manage my blood sugars and I know how Type 1 Diabetes has influenced me. Perhaps most importantly, I have friends who understand exactly what I am going through, who know precisely how to support me and exactly what advice I need and when I need it. This is what Carb DM has given me.
Please support Carb DM so it can continue to provide these life-changing experiences to other kids and teens like Eden.