Since 2011, Carb DM has been creating a supportive diabetes community in the Bay Area. It’s a community like no other, and to keep it going, we need your help. Carb DM runs on a shoestring budget, so your contribution of any amount makes a big impact.
To see the impact we’re making, look no further than the people who make up our community: the people with type 1 diabetes and the people who love them. These are the people whose stories we’re telling. These are the people we’re celebrating.
This month, our featured community member is Carb DM board member Susan Edwards. Even though she is the spouse of an adult with T1D (her husband, Erik, has been living with diabetes for over 30 years), Susan found herself feeling isolated and angry when her son Chase was diagnosed six years ago. Other than her husband, Susan had a difficult time connecting with anyone to discuss Chase’s diagnosis.
Shortly after Chase was diagnosed, Susan was introduced to Carb DM and all of the resources that Carb DM had to offer. Susan gained valuable information about managing T1D in young children, as well as something even more valuable: “Hope, that life with T1D could be normal and not completely terrifying.”
Gradually, Susan found herself getting more and more involved with Carb DM. When Chase was younger, Susan attended Coffee and Carbs to connect with other T1D caregivers. She took Chase to Carbs in the Park and other Carb DM social events, where Chase met other kids with T1D and professional athletes with T1D such as football player Kendall Simmons and baseball player Sam Fuld (click here to read about how those early meetings inspired Chase). As an adult with T1D, Erik enjoys Carb DM’s Type 1 Topics and Tech Talks. Susan and Erik also attend the Bay Area Diabetes Summit annually and look forward to all of the valuable information provided at this event. As a family, Susan, Erik, and their 3 boys all participate in Carb DM’s annual 5k run at Coyote Point.
But it is Diabetes 101, a quarterly event that brings newly diagnosed families together for a meet-and-greet and information session, that Susan holds closest to her heart. It was the first Carb DM event she attended, about 3 months after Chase was diagnosed. Susan recalls,
“I didn’t want to go but my husband encouraged me to get out and learn more about other families with T1D and meet some other moms in a similar situation, so I went. It was wonderful and so reassuring to meet other parents going through exactly what we were! Several of the moms I met at that first Diabetes 101 event are now my lifelong girlfriends who I know I can always turn to when T1D gets tough. That event changed my life and really helped me move forward in our journey with Type 1 in a productive and meaningful way.”
Susan wanted to spare other newly diagnosed families the difficulties she went through for so many months, so she decided she wanted to work with new families. Today, she reaches out to local newly diagnosed families through the Los Altos school district as well as Carb DM’s Brave Buddies program. She connects with them and shares a standard set of information that she has prepared to help them during those first few weeks of chaos. She has even begun hosting Carb DM/JDRF’s Diabetes 101 events at her home! Susan also serves on Carb DM’s board of directors as the board secretary and governance chair. She is passionate about recruiting new board members and expanding Carb DM’s reach to those who need Carb DM’s programs but may not currently have access.
Susan has made it her mission to give back to the community that helped her during those difficult early days, by reaching out to families who need support. Won’t you help Susan’s efforts to ensure that no one has to navigate the challenging world of diabetes on their own?
Carb DM’s mission is to provide Susan, her family, and other families living with T1D the support network they need to thrive. We hope Susan’s story inspires you to continue supporting Carb DM! <– link to FB campaign