Just in case you weren’t aware, November is Diabetes Awareness Month. One short year ago, I didn’t know this….or maybe I did but I had never really paid too much attention. But then, life for my family changed. On October 25th of 2017, my seemingly healthy 15 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. In an instant, our entire lives changed. We had to learn to count carbs. We had to be trained on how to administer insulin every time he wanted to eat. Later, we had to learn to use continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps to keep him alive. The last twelve months of my life have been consumed with learning a new normal. Now, don’t think I’m saying all this to get sympathy because I’m not. I will be honest and say that I’m prouder than I ever though possible at the strength that my son has shown over the last year and at the metamorphosis that our family has gone through in order to support him. What I’m sad about is that I didn’t know much about Type 1 Diabetes before our diagnosis because if I had known what was coming, I would have been looking for ways to do more, donate more to finding a cure and simply be more involved in finding ways to do good. That’s why I want to share today not only about our journey with this autoimmune disease that is currently incurable but also about ways that YOU can help my son and others like him this Diabetes Awareness Month and even into the holidays simply by purchasing products from Indie Do Good!
Before we get to how you all can help kids just like my son simply by purchasing amazing products made by spectacular entrepreneurs on the Indie Do Good site, I want to share a little more about his journey with you. After all, it is Diabetes Awareness Month and I think it’s so important to know the signs of Type 1 Diabetes. Prior to his diagnosis last year, my son had always been healthy. We’d had few sick doctor visit and he rarely missed a day of school. All of a sudden last year, he started losing weight and wanted to sleep a lot. He was drinking tons of water and running to the restroom and withdrawing. I attributed all of this to teenage moodiness. I even questioned if he was suffering from depression. In fact, when I took him to the doctor for his normal sports physical, I mentioned what was going on and was told that we should just watch it. One short week after that doctor’s appointment, he got out of bed, got into the shower and collapsed. He couldn’t walk up the stairs and his breathing was shallow. Terrified, I rushed him back to the doctor where they tested his urine and blood and immediately sent us straight to the Pediatric ICU. Within minutes is was determined that his body was shutting down from Diabetic Ketoacidosis and that he had Type 1 Diabetes. Truthfully, he doesn’t remember much of that hospital visit as he was unconscious but I remember sitting by his side, holding his hand and wondering how this monster had invaded his body without me knowing.
In the coming days I learned that Type 1 Diabetes is an Autoimmune disease in which the T-cells of the immune system attack and kill the insulin producing Beta cells in the pancreas. Without those Beta cells, there is no insulin. Without insulin, he would die. While only 10% of the people in the world that are diagnosed with Diabetes are Type 1, it’s a very serious disease and one that requires constant monitoring. So how I do I monitor him? Well, to give you a little glimpse into our new normal, let me share that my son now wears two devices on his body 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. One is an insulin pump that gives him small doses of insulin every hour and larger doses based on carb consumption when he eats.
The second device he wears in a continuous glucose monitor. This small device goes on his abdomen and once inserted, uses a tiny wire to monitor his blood sugar and send readings to a receiver or phone every five minutes. Without these two devices, life would be exponentially harder for him. However, keeping these devices stuck to the body of a sweaty 16-year old boy can be challenging! That’s where Indie Do Good and the makers of ExpressionMed come into the picture! You see, Indie Do Good has not only created a home for makers that allows entrepreneurs who are driven to change the world to sell their products. On top of creating that marketplace that allows companies like ExpressionMed to create products that help my Type 1 son, they also give 5% of every sale to non-profit organizations! Let me show you exactly how it works and why you should be shopping Indie Do Good this holiday season.
Remember those two devices that my son wears all the time that I was just talking about? Well, with his active lifestyle, these devices don’t always stick to his skin and stay on like they should. When they come off, we have a problem that has to be addressed….quickly. Thankfully, ExpressionMed partnered with Indie Do Good and sells diabetes care tapes, patches and stickers that are waterproof, fray proof, skin safe, tested and created to extend the life of these necessary medical devices that my son wears. Even better, the easy to apply and remove products that ExpressionMed makes are FUN and functional. They come in a variety of prints that make what is often a reminder to my son that he’s not like other kids a little easier to deal with. Want to see what I mean? Through Indie Do Good, I’m able to order patches like these from ExpressionMed to help keep my son’s continuous glucose monitor on.
He can choose from cool designs and I can trust that the they will work since I know that the founder of ExpressionMed did two years of research to find the perfect tape for longevity and comfort. Once he’s picked out the perfect design, he simply removes the paper on the back and places the pre-cut patch around his continuous glucose monitor to keep it in place.
With his continuous glucose monitor secured, he has the tools he needs to do all the things he wants to do, like play ball, and I know that I don’t have to worry about his sensors coming off his body when he starts to sweat. It’s peace of mind for me and a small but important way that I can help him to accomplish his goals and beat this disease.
While the ExpressionMed patches in themselves are awesome, it’s equally important to me that when I purchase them from Indie Do Good, 5% of the cost is donated to the non-profit organization of my choice.
How does Indie Do Good work?
I’m so glad you asked! Created by makers for makers, Indie Do Good has a three part mission; to benefit the recipient of their products, to help makers and creative entrepreneurs tell their story, quickly go to market with products and bring high-quality, artisanal products to shoppers around the world and to give back to charity through the sale of those amazing products. Driven by the knowledge that 75% of consumers ages 22-36 consider it very important to support brands that give back to society, they have created a platform that brings together the makers of an amazing variety of products and consumers who want to purchase products that help make a difference. That means that with each purchase that is made from Indie Do Good, consumers are guaranteed an amazing, hand-crafted gift that they can feel good about giving, the makers of the products are given a platform to share their talent and perhaps, best of all to me, a 5% portion of the sale goes straight to a charity of the consumers choice. Of course, I choose the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation that is working tirelessly to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes! For me, it makes my purchase mean more and especially during Diabetes Awareness Month, it’s an easy way to give back.
This November, I have a selfish request for all of you out there! Please shop Indie Do Good. If you know someone with Type 1 Diabetes, surprise them with ExpressionMed products that will help keep their devices in place. If you don’t know anyone with Type 1 Diabetes but still want to make a difference, find the product that you love and designate your donation to JDRF! Not only are you supporting makers who are passionate about producing amazing products that meet a variety of wants and needs, you are also able to give amazing gifts while supporting charities.
Want an idea of other purchases you can make at the Indie Do Good site for the holiday season? From the tech lover to the heath enthusiast to the jewelry lover to the quirky hard-to-shop for person, you can find gifts for everyone at Indie Do Good! And you can feel great about giving those gifts because by purchasing from Indie Do Good you’re supporting makers and giving back to charity!
Be sure to watch the video below to learn more about the Indie Do Good mission and find out why it’s the perfect place to shop this November and throughout the holiday season.
Now that you know why you should shop Indie Do Good for Diabetes Awareness Month, the holidays and more, what are you waiting for? Click here to start shopping for products that make a difference!