To Boy Scout Dads at Camp Sabatis,

To Boy Scout Dads at Camp Sabatis,
It is hard to put a proper thank you for all you did (and do) for Frankie into words.
This year, August 23rd to be exact, marks Frankie’s 5th year of diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. In 5 years we have signed him up for many, many things- sports, clubs, school…and each one- the response of we can’t, he can’t, no way…EXCEPT for scouts. When Frankie joined scouts—it was HOW can we, YES he can, LET’S find a way. As parents we are very grateful for scouts—grateful for all of you who lead these boys.
Camp Sabatis was no exception—all of you bravely stepping in to take on the watch of type 1 diabetes so Frankie could go. Taking time out of your lives to meet with us and learn diabetes. As his parents, we would rather keep him home and wrapped in a cocoon—but Frankie is our adventurer—and we struggle with the ‘don’t let D stop you’ and the risks. The struggle is easier when we have support, like we have from all of you. We are thankful.
We hoped and prayed that Sabatis would go smoothly, all of you helping us plan and prepare, supporting Frankie in joining in this experience. He got three days in because of all of you. He stayed safe, stayed alive—because of all of you. On the ride home Frankie said “It was fun while it lasted.” He loved every second—especially the canoe ride to the island. He had the camp experience, has these memories—because of all of you. Thank you!
We know it was questioned that maybe he should not go, these parents are crazy to send him, these parents ask too much from the leaders. Yes, to all of those. It was yes to all of those before he went—but the truth in life with diabetes-everyday is a risk-and there is no choice here but to live to the fullest anyway. We can’t do that without help and are blessed that you were all willing to take this on. Thank you—for sticking your necks out for Frankie, for learning all and everything diabetes so he could go, and for knowing the plan and making sure it was followed by the camp staff. Thank you for staying up all night with him, watching over him. A HUGE thank you—for saying he COULD stay the rest of the week—even after all you went through Tuesday night.
In hindsight, maybe we ARE crazy. Maybe we shouldn’t have sent him. In planning with his health team, we believed it would all go well, and we are sorry we took you away from your own boys because you were in the health office with Frankie.
We don’t wish we didn’t send him though- the smile on his face when he tells us the stories, the hat he bought that he has worn every day, and the fact that he says “maybe when I’m older it will go okay the whole week” all proof that this experience, though cut short, was positive for Frankie. YOU gave him that.
In closing, we are sorry for putting this burden on you all, and for the sacrifices you had to make to keep Frankie safe at camp. That is the ONE thing we wish we didn’t do and feel so bad about. We took you away from time with your own boys, we can’t give that back, we can only say how sorry we are for that and thank you for your sacrifices for Frankie. We really believed it would go much differently or we would not have sent him. We are eternally grateful for all you did to support Frankie and keep him safe.
You have given him a wonderful gift—not just in going to camp, but adults showing him by your actions, that you believe in him and all things are possible.
With unending gratitude,

Tears were shed today, both in sorrow and happiness.

I made the trek to scout camp today to change out Frankie’s insulin pod.I went with a mission in mind-not to ‘talk diabetes’ to Frankie, but to rejoice in the fun, experience, and activities he is taking part in- while bravely navigating diabetes through it all. Diabetes had other plans.

Frankie at camp

I get to camp—freaking a long ride. When they say “Heart of the Adirondack Mountains” they are not kidding! I see Dad 1 and Dad 2 approach; one- who I am very close friends with has ‘the look.’ As we exchange hello’s- I am thinking—“there was no look, was there a look?” Dad 3 and Dad 4 arrive with Frankie. He looks good, not great, but good. We hug, and I hold on a bit tighter than normal. “How is it? Having fun?” I ask him—keeping to my mission. “Yeah” He says as one of the Dads begins to explain last night. Oh crap—there was a look!

The short version: Middle of the night low blood glucose, a stubborn one, that would not come up—until finally it did, and then it didn’t, repeat, repeat, repeat. The roller coaster that can be diabetes –up & running and taking passengers. On board the coaster all last night-Frankie, 2 Dads, and the camp nurse.

Final result –high numbers today, with ketones, which after new insulin, water and the rest would not budge and Frankie came home-for safety.

Tears of sorrow, because my kid can’t just be a kid. Tears—because the worst problem to battle for an 11 year old at camp – should be homesickness, but Frankie has to battle T1D. Today T1D won the match. That SUCKS!

Tears of happiness—for a lot of reasons—the first being that THE PLAN was followed—to the letter. Frankie feels the low, checks and treats but knows his body & that he is experiencing a quick dropping low and alerts the Dads. Dads promptly alert the nurse via walkie talkie, get Frankie in a car and on the way to the health office where the nurse meets them ready for action. He was never alone—they all took turns staying awake to watch over him, slept in the health office for safety—and KNEW the medical plan and followed it -averting an extreme diabetes emergency. Thanks to all the Dads- who sat through my ‘classes’ on type 1 diabetes before camp- agreed to be trained and take it on—so Frankie could go. Thanks for doing exactly what needed to be done to keep him safe—I couldn’t have done it better! No thank you card, gift, or words of praise can ever really express my gratitude. They will be given—but they will never come close to matching the value of these actions.

The second—Tears of happiness for Frankie. I can tell you that at 11 years old I would not have the guts to do what Frankie does. 11 years old—off in the middle of God’s country, with a disease he knows can kill him, and the medicine (insulin) given incorrectly, he knows can kill him-but he goes, gives it his all, and he got the job done for 3 whole days. Top that off with what he says to me on the car ride home… “It was fun while it lasted.” Frankie- always finding the silver lining.

Tonight I am full of emotions. I put him to bed and can now cry my eyes out.  I hate type 1 diabetes for what it takes from my son, but I am so proud of the brave young man he has become because of it.