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.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Diabetes Type 1

When a Man Questioned My Son's Need for a Service Dog

In an attempt to escape the witching hour, I had the hair-brained idea to pack up the kids in the car and spoil dinner with a sweet treat. My husband was working late and I was desperate to win some smiles with ice cream. When we arrived at our favorite ice cream joint, I unbuckled [...]
Black and white photo of a girl holding a dandelion and blowing on it

One Way to Help Prevent Type 1 Diabetes From Being Misdiagnosed

“I wanted to see Merida, mom.” “Mmmm, hmmm.” “Was that a real Buzz Lightyear, Mom?” “Mmmm, hmmm.” “Can we have ice cream when we get to the hotel, Mom?” I nod. Our bus ride home from Disney seems longer than after past visits. Each question rolling off, one after another… my mind not taking in [...]

The 2 Most Dreaded Responses to My Son's Type 1 Diabetes

My son, Henry, is young and innocent. In one video we shared at a Children with Diabetes conference, Henry blithely tells the audience about a scrape on his leg, and in the next breath he shows off his pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM), as though these two were equal. One day the stigma of [...]

Why I No Longer Hide the Equipment I Need to Manage My Diabetes

It took a transit at the airport in Istanbul, Turkey, to prompt me to change my mindset about my chronic disease. I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 16 years. The thing about being born with a disease or diagnosed at such a young age is that you grow up accepting whatever your parents tell you [...]