I met Taylor's mother, Vivian in the D-OC. She is my closest neighbor in the D-OC. Sadly I don't get to see her and her family as much as I would like. But in meeting Vivian, and her T1 son Daniel, I also met the other amazing members of the family, including Taylor, Sarah, and Paul. This family is amazing all in itself, but I wanted to ask Taylor to share about her brother and diabetes for the "Your Voice" project. What she sent me touched my heart in more ways than she may ever know.
My name is Taylor, I'm 19. My brother, Daniel, is 13 and lives with
Type 1 Diabetes... But Diabetes is not him. He's a 13 year old boy. Goofy, odd, oblivious, and above all sweet (ba-da ch). In all seriousness though he's (in is odd way) the most compassionate 13 year old boy I've ever met. He also lives with Aspergers so the above statement really means something.
Yes, Diabetes is priority in his life. He needs to live and he needs to be healthy. Our family has learned a lot from the past few years while growing with Daniel. It's not easy, it's not fun, and it's scary to be honest sometimes...
But I don't want Cara's blogging opportunity from me to be complaining and telling you how bad it is. You know how horrid and tedious it can be. A lot of you submerge yourself in the negatives and that's no more healthy.
I rather tell you about the normal, silly boy who helps his little sister take care of 3 flocks of chickens. Who competes in 4H competitions and can tell you anything about just about any anime, game, game-to-be, system-to-be, etc. Who reads at a Senior level in High School as an 8th grader and borrows my dad's computer programming books to figure things out himself (and builds programs and games).
I much rather tell you about his sense of humor and how much he makes our family laugh on a daily basis. And how he's recently started working hard to learn to draw and make comics. How he wants to own his own company and be the boss --- and the advances he's making towards that right now. How he participates in band with his best friend and how much it drives everyone insane that he's so forgetful sometimes... but that's him.
I much rather tell you everything Daniel really is. He's a remarkable brother, a loving son (even if he's not much of a hugger), a quirky grandson, a faithful friend and just a really cool kid.
Yes, he's a Diabetic. No, he had no choice with that and it's not fair. He's in that fun puberty stage and life in every area is changing. His blood sugars are all over the place and random. He's about to be in High School next year which will put stress on him and he already doesn't like change --- but he's excited nonetheless.
Next summer he will face his first band camp. That comes complete with long hours in the sun from sun up to sun down, nonstop moving and working out and little, short water breaks. For a whole week or 2. That's a diabetic's nightmare I'm sure and it's going to be rough until he figures out how he'll respond to it, but he's not letting the Diabetes control his life. He's not letting it stop him at all and he'll get through this and everything else until there is a cure.
I'm proud of my little brother and my family. We have 2 chronic illnesses in the house alone (my dad lives with MS) and it's not easy. For the guys or for anyone else, it's not easy. I promise you though they laugh more than most family's I've ever met. We'll all admit we're scared sometimes, but why let the fear make you miserable and take things it doesn't have to away?
And thank you for this opportunity, Cara. I know it's a bit late blogging. But with all this being said I'll go back to the original topic she asked me to blog about --- I'm not a sibling to Diabetes. I'm a sister to Daniel... and I've learned so much from him. He (and my dad and quite honestly the rest of the family too) are inspirations. It's not fair but it's life, and we make the best of it and stay positive until there is a cure.
Daniel will be the head of a big gaming company one day. He'll do a lot of things. And he'll do them with Zack (Pump) and a big glass of Diet Pepsi by his side.