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Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Triumphant Return to Ask For Your Aid!

It has been far too long.  I apologize.  I'll never take that long of a break from blogging again.

DMama's and T1D's, lend me your ears!  I have come asking for your assistance in everyone's favorite subject; advocating!

Background; this year, I'm taking a class called Social Problems.  Our 'final' for this class involves working at a non-profit organization, and then writing a paper talking about the specific social problems that particular organization deals with.  And this may surprise you, but I decided to look at the social problems surrounding T1D and it's misconceptions.

In many ways, I feel that the lack of knowledge and abundant misconceptions cause T1D to be a social problem.  How many times have you been asked 'can you eat that?'.  'Did you get diabetes because you ate too much sugar?'  'Why do you have your phone out in class?' (Even though insulin pumps look nothing like cell phones and a vast majority of them are attached to your body).  These questions are not always asked with negative intentions, but the more people who know about it the better.  And the best way to keep a person's attention is by story telling!

That's where you come in.  I need your help.  Either through comments or email, tell me your stories.  D Mama's - do you feel your child is treated differently now that they're T1D?  Do their teachers and peers really understand what they're going through?  Has there been a particular time you've had to lay down the law?  Diabetic kids and teens - do you think you're treated differently?  Is the lack of knowledge (if you feel there is any) about T1D a problem in society?  What is the most popular misconception about diabetes you want to take into the streets and smash with a hammer?  Adult T1D's - how is it dealing with T1D for so long?  Or if you're recently diagnosed; how do you think your life would have been effected if you'd been diagnosed as a child?

Guys, I'm so excited to write this paper.  My teacher is excited to read it.  Of course names will be changed and such, but I know these stories will be a great help. If you can, spread this around; the more stories the merrier!  I'm very excited to hear from you all, and can't wait to help spread the T1D word!

(I mean come on, sometimes we need to vent about the lack of T1D knowledge!)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reed Finally Talks About Children's Congress!

So, it's been a nice summer around here.  Full of highs and lows (figuratively and literally speaking), but I feel like there's something missing....something I was supposed to tell you guys....

Oh yeah.  I went to Children's Congress!

This is extremely delayed, I'm so sorry!  There was so much going on, and so much going on when I got back that time slipped away!  But I'm here now, and through pictures and sometimes snarky phrases, I will relay to the best of my abilities the awesomness that went down.  Here goes.

Day 1

Day one actually started in the afternoon, when we preformed the Children's Congress (henceforth referred to as CC because I'm too lazy to type out 'Children's Congress') song Promise to Remember Me.  This in itself was cool - what was even cooler was preforming it with Crystal Bowersox!  You know, American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox, who has albums and fans and stuff?  Yeah that was pretty awesome, and she was so nice!  We all talked to her at one point or another, and she was so laid back with all of it we were all ecstatic (Plus she made the song sound really nice).

We were all organized by height for the video, which in a way forced us all to socialize some.  Friendships were made, and song lyrics were hastily learned, and we all had a good time.  After that, we went by state and took photos with Crystal and Olympic swimmer Gary Hall.  Double awesome!

I'm in the middle, Maxwell on the left, and Grant to the right.
There was a dinner after that where we all got acquainted, and afterwords it was off to bed and onto a new day.

Day 2

Day 2 had so much going on!  There was a 'Town Hall' meeting with a bunch of celebrities, workshops for how to talk to our Congressmen, and a huge social hour where we handed our souvenirs to each other!  I got to meet tons of new people, including;

Mac, a delegate from South Carolina, who may or may not have become a totally awesome friend over those three days (despite a few short jokes), and

Landry, a Colorado delegate and former Las Vegas Youth Ambassador. It was great to see him again, and he did awesome with his stuff there!,

There was also a photo booth with a bunch of props, and well...I may have sported a Batman mask.  It was in the name of a cure and saving Gotham City. Photo barrage, attack!

Town Hall Livestream; an awesome morning!

Trading off with Anders, the international delegate from Denmark
Mac and I handing out souvenirs - Welcome to Las Vegas pins and sunglasses!
I warned you... (with Landry, Colorado delegate)
Tons of time was spent in that photo booth...
...This one is just because I wanted to show everyone Mac with a clown nose sorry not sorry

Day 3

Day 3 was actually going to talk to the Congressmen, and no lie, I was nervous!  But by the end of the day, I was completely at ease.  Everyone I talked to was wonderful, and very willing to fight T1D!  While I don't have very many pictures of the meetings, I did get these a few weeks after CC;

Signed photos from our meeting with Senate majority leader Harry Reid!  It was a great surprise to see, and meant a lot that the Senator took time out of his schedule to not only talk with us, but sign these photos for us.  

After the meetings, we all headed over to take a group photo before heading to the hearing.  And when we were all there, we got a visitor...and by a visitor, I mean Vice President Joe Biden.  As in he came to see us all!  It was so awesome, and quite a few delegates have selfies with him on their Facebook profiles!

Yeah, it was really awesome!
Blown up because there were a lot of us!  I'm in the fourth row on the right.
I, meanwhile, opted for a photo with my new best buddy.  (As soon as I find your email I'll write, Mac!  I swear!)

After that, it was on to the hearing (which I couldn't find a good video of, but if you look around I'm sure you'll find one).  And then, just like that, Children's Congress was over.

Overall, I had an outstanding time at CC.  I met tons of new people, experienced so many new things, and came out of it so proud to represent T1D.  While it was weird without my fellow Las Vegas ambassadors, I know they'll continue on the legacy in 2015 (cough*Blake and Justice*cough).  

As per wrap up, here's an awesome board I put together of some of the souvenirs from Children's Congress.  I've found a few more pins in my luggage since then (New York and Illinois among others, I think), and they'll be added too.  I've also got the autographs from all the people at Town Hall, which will be hung up soon.  And though you can't see it, this hangs proudly next to my Children's Congress rejection letter, partially to confuse people, and partially to prove that sometimes the world can surprise you in awesome ways.

At the end of the day, all I can say is thank you.  It's the only thing that comes close to the gratitude I feel.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Painting Pods

I said earlier I was painting some of my Omni Pods, and I thought I'd share the final product

I did three others, but the stencils didn't work well and meh. I'm not an artist.

Note:  If you want to do this yourself, I used acrylic paint and basic stencils. I also used paint sealers for these pods so they don't wash off in the shower, but I've painted some before without a sealer, and they lasted like 10 minutes in the shower before the paint came off.  So if you're super careful, you can probably make them last all three days.

My Second Children's Congress Blog is Live!

I'm pleased to announce my second blog for Children's Congress is live right here!  With the help of Kerri at Six Until Me, I created a small diabetic slang dictionary, and I'm sorta really proud of it.  Apparently it's been getting a lot of feedback, which makes me really happy!  But if you read that post and you like it, Kerri's got an entire e-book called Diabetic Terms of Endearment you should check out.  Just scroll down on her page until you find the unicorn typing on the computer, and click that.

And now, I'm in a creative mood, so I'm off to paint my pods!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Finger Pricks (Micro Update)

So, my doctor keeps telling me I should start pricking the sides of my fingers instead of directly on the pads of them, and up until now I've just smiled and nodded and gone about my ways. But then this happened:

I mean, I've never seen a scab turn black before. AND, it isn't even raised like a scab, which is even stranger and freaking me out a little. Time to start using the sides of my fingers so my irrational fears of accidentally killing myself don't come true.

Doctor: 1
Sassy Teenager: 0

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My First Blog For Children's Congress Is Live!

I'm pleased to announce the first of my two blog posts is live right now on the official Children's Congress website.  Please check it out here!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I'm Going to Children's Congress!

...Wait, what?

Reed, you aren't going to Children's Congress, remember?  You made that post about being rejected from it.  It contained references to country music and a bunch of 'Never give up!' type messages.  You've got the rejection letter hanging in your bedroom.  Remember that?

Yep!  And I'm still going.

I know what you're thinking; how?  Allow me to answer that to the best of my abilities.  The way I understand it, one of Nevada delegates ended up moving to another state in January.  That delegate still gets to attend Children's Congress, but they will be representing the state they now reside in.  That put Nevada one delegate short for Children's Congress.  And the person they ended up choosing as a replacement was...well, me.

So...yes!  I get to attend Children's Congress this summer!  My entire family is excited beyond words (my mom may or may not have cried when we found out), and I really can't wait to meet everyone!

And there's more news!  I'm going to be working with JDRF to do a few blog posts counting down to Children's Congress!  I'll be sure to post here with links when my blogs go up, but for now you can go read the first post, written by California delegate Jonathan (who by the way, is so eloquent for a third grader I can't even begin to comprehend it.  I've got some serious competition here, guys!).  I also have another blog up on the local JDRF website, so go ahead and check it out too!  Along with that, our Youth Ambassador coordinator Marcy helped me set up a Twitter that I'll be using leading up to Children's Congress and even more when I get there.  To be honest, I know close to nothing when it comes to twitter, but I promise I'll do my best.

I'm so honored to end up with this opportunity, and I'm really excited that the original Nevada delegate still gets to go to Washington with us.  Every kid in world with diabetes deserves to go to Capitol Hill and talk to Congress about the struggles they've faced.  I don't know if I can speak for every juvenile diabetic out there, but I promise to do my best.

Also, one final thing before I go!  If anyone remembers, a few posts back I was posting little bits of diabetic slang here and there.  And I want to know if there's any sort of slang you guys use when it comes to diabetes.  Feel free to leave it in the comments or email me.  I'm using it for a project you'll get to see later.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend!