Losing a friend is hard, but losing a friend to T1D is harder.
I can still remember the exact moment, almost three years ago, when my mom told me that my friend Lindsi had passed away. My mom had picked me up from school and was taking me to dance class. A rush of emotions swept over me as my mom looked over to make sure I was OK. Not only was I shocked and upset over losing a friend, I knew that Lindsi’s and my roles could easily have been switched. Lindsi also had type 1 diabetes (T1D), and we were the same age. Had I been the one with the overnight low blood sugar, it could have been me. Had I been the one whose CGM lost battery power, it would have been my family mourning and preparing my memorial service.
I met Lindsi at Camp Hopewell, a summer camp for kids with T1D. We were cabin mates, and memories of camp in July were still fresh in my mind that solemn day in September. I had recently seen Lindsi at a JDRF Youth Ambassador meeting, and the words she had spoken to me that night continuously flowed through my mind. I kept wishing I could rewind time and that Lindsi’s blood sugar wouldn’t have been so low that night. Losing a friend is hard, but losing a friend to T1D is harder.
Although Lindsi’s death is still hard to cope with, every day I see blessings come from it. Lindsi’s JDRF Walk team, Peace 4 Lindsi, raises an incredible amount of money every year in her memory. The West Tennessee JDRF Youth Ambassadors have made it our mission to send as many kids as we can to Camp Hopewell on full scholarships every year, because we know how important camp was to Lindsi. We hold fundraisers and rally support, and this year, we were able to fund every single kid who applied for the scholarship!
Personally, Lindsi’s death has motivated me to take better care of myself. I am much more cautious about my blood sugar, and I do everything in my power to stay in range. When I meet with my Members of Congress as a Children’s Congress delegate this summer, I know they will see just how strong a person with T1D can be. But I also want them to know that I am more anxious than ever for a cure. Because not only has T1D taken a part of my life away, it has completely taken the life of my friend Lindsi. I believe that a cure can be found, and that day will truly bring Peace 4 Lindsi.
If you, like me, believe that friendship is the greatest inspiration, please donate today to the Peace 4 Lindsi Walk to Cure Diabetes team.
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