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Why We Dread Halloween as Parents of a Child With Type 1 Diabetes


I have always loved Halloween. I love dressing up, and I love the excitement leading up to it. I start planning our family’s costumes months in advance — and we don’t disappoint! For most kids, though, Halloween is about much more than choosing costumes.

It’s about the candy. C-A-N-D-Y.

Most people would expect that, as parents of a kid with type 1 diabetes, Halloween would be the holiday we dread the most.

And they would be right… but not for the reasons you’d assume.

This is why I dread Halloween:

A year ago before Halloween, I wrote a post in response to someone else’s blog entitled “10 Halloween Candy Alternatives That Won’t Give Your Kids Diabeetus.” That’s when I realized there will always be people who choose to perpetuate stereotypes about this disease simply because they don’t know what it is. I also realized there are people who back up jokes like these with the claim of “I was actually referring to type 2 diabetes!” as if that makes it OK. How about making a joke about cancer and saying “Oh! I didn’t mean breast cancer, I meant prostate cancer, silly!” Nope. Not OK.

Another person’s illness or disease is not a joke — no matter what it’s called. This year I’ve decided that instead of being mad about these things, I’m going to channel my inner spirit fingers and let them help recharge my motivation. (“Gimme a C-U-R-E!”) I know our efforts to raise awareness and educate people about type 1 diabetes are helping someone — or many someones. I just know it.

I also know (OK, I just looked it up) that the word “ignorance” comes from the Latin word ignorantia, meaning “want of knowledge” (according to Dictionary.com). So you know what? We’re going to help the folks who continue to perpetuate the stereotypes about “diabeetus” (which, by the way, I believe was only funny when it was said by Wilford Brimley) and keep supplying them with lots of knowledge.

Bring it on — and let’s change the world.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability and/or disease, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.


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