A diabetes diagnosis doesn’t just affect the life of the person who is diagnosed … diabetes, for better or for worse, is a family affair.  I didn’t think about the influence of diabetes on my siblings until I was older, and I wish we has talked about it at home more.  Which is exactly why I’m honored to host a guest post from Grace Rooney, who wrote a book from the perspective of the sibling of a PWD.  Read more about why she wrote her book and how you can grab a copy of your own!

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Hi guys, my name is Grace, and I’m excited to be a guest blogger for Six Until Me. I have an older sister, Paige, with type 1 diabetes who was diagnosed 17 years ago.

Growing up, I was aware of carbohydrates, blood sugars, and insulin, things other kids my age didn’t have any idea about. My parents’ attention was often turned towards my sister, and I was left feeling confused and scared. My parents and my sister had a lot of resources to help them navigate the daily challenges. However, we were never able to find any support for me. When I was six, I wrote a book called My Sister Has Diabetes and How That Makes Me Feel. It was a way for me to express myself and my emotions, but at that time, my book was just for me. I wasn’t aware that it could become a resource that would benefit other people.

I think growing up in the shadow of diabetes gave me a unique perspective. I am now 19 and care about diabetes advocacy, especially for siblings. Two years ago I self-published my book and started a nonprofit called Support for Siblings.

This year I was fortunate enough to be a first timer at the Children With Diabetes’ Friends for Life Conference in Orlando where I tracked down Kerri and introduced myself. She was gracious and hilarious, as anyone who reads her blog knows, and she invited me to write a guest blog post to introduce another perspective on living day to day with T1D. Although I don’t have diabetes, it is very much a part of my life.

At the conference I partnered with the “Orange Team” who works with the kids who don’t have diabetes but whose lives are still affected by T1D, just like me. There I read and gave out copies of my book to siblings and parents. Interacting with the kids, sharing my story, and hearing theirs was inspiring and validating. Many of the kids I met experience similar situations and emotions that I had. I remember growing up wishing there was someone who could relate to me and my feelings, and now I want to help siblings who are scared and confused like I was.

My goal is to continue to get the book to as many type 1 siblings as possible. If you weren’t at the conference but know someone who may benefit from my book, you can find it on Amazon.

I’d also love to hear from you at supportforsiblings@aol.com. Out of the struggle and pain and longing to sympathize with my sister, I have become an advocate and hope I can provide support for siblings.

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Thanks so much to Grace, for making a difference in the world for PWD and their families.  You can order a copy of her book on Amazon by clicking here.