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  • Writer's pictureKids Life Magazine


Updated: Jan 10

By Kitty Collins

On March 2, 2010 at just 6 years old, my middle son Drew was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a day that forever changed our entire family’s lives. Our days and nights revolved around managing his blood glucose levels with anywhere between 10-15 finger sticks in a 24-hour period and up to 10 insulin injections per day. T1D requires constant monitoring and management, provides zero days off and has no cure. I recently read about a Stanford University research study finding that people living with T1D make an extra 180 health-related decisions a day than someone without diabetes – about once every 5 minutes you are awake.

We have come a long way in the last 13 years. Drew is now completely self-sufficient in managing his blood glucose levels and insulin administration (without complaint I might add) with help from some pretty amazing technology. The advancing technology and tools available to those living with T1D today have certainly improved both the quality and life expectancy over what it once was. I am so thankful! Despite the challenges presented by T1D, Drew played soccer year-round from middle school through and high school and has just started his freshman year at the University of Alabama.

I have met so many other families with newly diagnosed babies like Drew was, just beginning to process the day to day burden their child is going to carry for their lifetime. Like others before us, I try to help encourage them by sharing how far Drew has come, but sometimes we just need to cry. Despite all of the wonderful tools that certainly make life a little easier, we need a cure.

Two years ago, I decided to take a more active role in finding our cure by running with Team JDRF. JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) is the largest nongovernmental funder of T1D research and the only global organization with a strategic research plan to fight T1D. They are accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications.

Now if you enjoy running, you won’t think this is a big deal but I’ve never been a runner (in fact I loathe it). I decided that considering what my Drew and others with T1D have to deal with just to get through a day, this old, exercise-hating mom pushing 50 could do more to help. I started training in October 2021 and ran my first two races at runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon weekend in February 2022. I think my family was a bit shocked that I made it! After hearing how much fun I had crossing that finish line all three of my boys: Ryan, Drew and Grant joined in and we’ve logged 95.8 official miles collectively for Team JDRF over 8 race weekends.

I am currently training to run 22.4 miles this November and again in February 2024 and have committed to raising significant funds for research to help JDRF create a world without T1D. If you’d like to show your support for someone you love with T1D, I would love your help in meeting my goal. All donations go directly to JDRF and are tax-deductible. To participate, click on this link:

Let’s turn TYPE ONE into TYPE NONE!


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