By Leah Mickschl
Founder and Owner of Pretty Simple
So, a few weeks ago my husband and I launched Pretty Simple CURE, our philanthropic initiative of Pretty Simple, my e-commerce boutique. It was surprisingly emotional for me. We have put our hearts, souls and finances behind this project in hopes that the CURE will create awareness for type 1 diabetes, and raise necessary dollars to help fund research to find a cure. One pair of mittens at a time.
Our daughter Gracie was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago with this dreaded disease. I am actually a pediatric registered nurse and practiced up until a few years ago. One would think I should have understood what was before us after hearing that diagnosis. But until you walk in these shoes, it is impossible to really know what it is like to live with type 1 diabetes. I had no idea that sleeping through the night was a thing of the past. Or that even going shopping, out for lunch, or to school would now take extra planning and preparation. We now have sugar (usually in the form of juice or glucose tabs) tucked aside in the consoles of our vehicles, purses, pockets … just in case we need to treat a low. When traveling, we have an entire bag full of diabetes supplies: insulin, blood glucose meter, finger poker (lancing device), sensors, pump sites, alcohol wipes, skin barrier wipes and glucagon. Glucagon is the emergency shot that is given if Gracie’s blood sugar becomes so low that she becomes unconscious and cannot eat or drink any sugar. We make quarterly visits to our beloved endocrinologist to check in and see how well we are managing.
This was our new normal. I also had this misconception that I as a nurse, could tightly control this disease. Just give me the formula of how much insulin Gracie would need, and we would be fine. Little did I know that things such as hormones, illnesses, stress, anxiety, heat and exercise all affect blood sugars. Healthy pancreases know just what our bodies need, and how much insulin to release in response to these variables. Now, it was up to Gracie and us to predict how much insulin her body needs. Most of the time we get it right. Other days, not so much. As I am writing this, Gracie’s blood sugar has been high about 18 of the last 24 hours. We have increased her basal rates by 40% and have been giving more insulin than what her pump is recommending, and she has still been high. Is she coming down with something? Is she having a growth spurt? It is anyone’s best guess. We just do our best, and hope tomorrow will be better.
That is what the CURE is all about. Making tomorrow better. Not just for Gracie, but for all estimated 40 million people around the globe diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Nothing can create a fire in someone like when your child is diagnosed with what is now an incurable disease. That is how the CURE started. We can’t sit back and wait, we had to do something. Our hope and prayer is that Gracie will see a cure within her lifetime. Technology is great, and helps us manage this disease, but it is not a cure.
Pretty Simple is donating every penny possible from the sale of CURE mittens to non-profit organizations that support the type 1 community, including Can Do Canines. Through the training of Diabetes Assist Dogs, Can Do Canines provides peace of mind to those living with type 1 diabetes and their caregivers. We are so excited to partner with such an incredible organization. And it doesn’t hurt that Gracie has the biggest heart for dogs!
We hope you will join us in this effort. We will not stop until there is a CURE.