Jackson celebrating 11th birthday

Jennifer Runyon - Contributing Columnist

By the time you read this, my baby boy will be 11! That is insane! He tends to be one of my favorite subjects to write about, so as you probably already know, he is an absolutely fantastic kid and he hasn’t let his type 1 diabetes hold him back.

He is currently preparing to wow the crowd at his recital with his boys’ hip-hop class. He’s also taking part in the recital finale and is looking forward to the end of the school year (He’s not the only one). He just started swim team and is doing great! He’s never had any kind of professional swim instruction, so I was worried, but you’d never know it from watching him! I was also worried about his pod (which gives him insulin) and Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring sensor staying on through all the motion and water involved with swim team, but we haven’t had any problems. (Hopefully, I’m not speaking too soon here.)

He is doing great in school with all A’s and B’s and is always very well-behaved! He looks out for his fellow classmates and is always the first one to check on someone when they get hurt. He has absolutely amazed me throughout his year with T1. He now puts on his own pods and is nearly always thinking the same thing Justin and I are thinking when it comes to counting carbs or deciding on a course of action where diabetes is concerned!

We celebrated his 11th birthday doing what he loves to do — fishing and playing basketball! Justin then braved the night in a tent with four boys! They had so much fun, made memories that will last a lifetime and in Justin’s words, “giggled like girls.”

It kills me to think I almost didn’t see his third birthday let alone his 11th. You see, a few days before we celebrated his third birthday, I was driving. I got lost and called Justin, my human GPS. He knew just from talking to me that I was low. I didn’t feel low, so I, of course, argued with him (Side note here: If a loved one thinks you’re low, fight the urge to argue and just check your blood!) Then a woman pulled up beside me and told me to pull into a gas station. Justin told me to listen to her. I did and the woman told me I was swerving all over the place and almost crashed three times. She asked if I had been drinking or using anything. When I told her I was diabetic, she understood. She sat with me while I checked my blood and yep, I was low.

This woman walked me into the gas station and bought me juice and candy. She then stayed with me until family members arrived. I still can’t get over this woman’s kindness. Rather than let me continue on and let who-knows-what happen to me, she had the courage and compassion to get me to stop and help me.

I made a promise to myself that I would write a column about this every year as his birthday nears. I hope this just serves as a reminder that we need to look out for each other. I feel like a hypocrite as I write this because if I saw someone swerving all over the road, I’d probably speed up and pass them. If you do approach someone, you never know what kind of situation you’d be getting yourself into. They may be dangerous. I hope if I’m ever in this position, I do step up and prevent a tragedy. I’m forever thankful that this woman did it for me and allowed me to celebrate many more birthdays with my all-time favorite boy.


Jennifer Runyon

Contributing Columnist

Jennifer Runyon is a freelance writer who shares her life stories living with type 1 diabetes for 28 years and whose young son also has been diagnosed with the disease. Email her at [email protected]

Jennifer Runyon is a freelance writer who shares her life stories living with type 1 diabetes for 28 years and whose young son also has been diagnosed with the disease. Email her at [email protected]

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