Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Fifth Anual Type 1 Diabetes Day in Idaho (that wasn't)

Unfortunately this year, we had a really big blizzard over the entire Northwest just when we needed to leave for Boise for the Idaho Awareness Day at the Capitol! I was very excited to have the Proclmation signing ceremony in Governor Little's Ceremonial Office, just as I had five years ago in this same office with Governor Otter. On Saturday we got as far as Tri cities and the interstate was closed. We spent the night with hopes of getting to Boise on Sunday, but the roads were still closed with two more winter storms coming in. We headed home disappointed, but will reschedule in the late Spring or summer when we get to partner with JDRF Mountain Valley Chapter!

Meeting Russ Fulcher, candidate for Idaho U.S. Representative District 1

This Fall, when the Idaho Republican Candidate Bus Tour came through CdA, I jumped at the opportunity to meet the man who might be taking Representative Labrador's spot as U.S. Representative in my district. I was able to talk with Mr. Fulcher, tell him my diagnosis story, and explain to him about the Special Diabetes Program. He had not heard of it and I was excited to tell him how important it was to T1Ds. He gave me his card and asked me to email him more information about the SDP and make sure he knows when the bill needs to be signed, etc. Of course, I did! I was glad when Rep. Fulcher was elected and think we will have a good working relationship!

Idaho U.S. Representative Russ Fulcher

Lt. Governor Brad Little was on the bus tour because he was running for Governor! We talked about the last several T1D Awareness Days at the Capitol that he has been a big part of and he said he would be honored to help me again should be become Governor! And now he is our new Governor!

And, my good friend, Lawrence Denny, Idaho Secretary of State, was on the tour running for his position again! It is always great to see him!

2018 JDRF ONE Walk

(Carson) This was my 9th JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes! I have always unicycled the 5K, but this year I had some friends from school coming and decided to walk with them. It was really weird not to unicycle and people at the walk kept asking me where my unicycle was, but I was glad I got to walk with my team this year!!

(Fondra)  I am still on the verge of tears at all the support we had today for the JDRF One Walk! So many drove over an hour to walk with us today, some drove 2 hours, many changed plans for the day, several worked out time off work, and we could not be more grateful! We were 56 supporters strong for CARSON'S CRUISERS today!!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!! I am seriously in tears right guys have no idea what this means to Carson and our family!  Thank you!!! (The amazng Mbuza family in the bottom right corner made it after our photo!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Meeting with Governor Otter and Lt. Governor Little

I like to take every opportunity I can to meet with our Congressional delegation or Governor when they come to Coeur d Alene. Always keeping a T1D face before them, I think can't hurt and reminds them about our cause!

2018 JDRF Government Day in Washington, DC

In February my mom got the chance to go back to DC for JDRF Government Day where she was able to meet with our Idaho Congressional Delegation and thank them for their support of the Special Diabetes Program which give $150 million annually to T1D research!

JDRF Grassroots leaders from all 50 states storming Capitol Hill to meet with Every memeber of Congress to thank them for their support of the Special Diabetes Program!

JDRF CEO, Derek Rapp, and his wife, Emily

JDRF Advocacy powerhouse and my friend, Camille Nash

Thank you, Rep. Labrador, for your support of the SDP!

Thank you, Rep. Simpson, for your support of the SDP!

Thank you, Senator Risch, for your support of the SDP!

Thank you, Senator Crapo, for your support of the SDP!

Josh Ochs interviewed me on his podcast!

Josh Ochs, social media expert, came to my high school to talk to students about how to stay safe and  shine online and leave a positive digital footprint for colleges/universities and future employers. He was intrigued by my positive presence online and asked me to do a podcast with him! It was pretty cool! Listen to my podcast here!

In this episode, Josh Ochs sat down with a high school student named Carson Magee who raises awareness for students with Type 1 diabetes. Learn how Carson built his Google presence as Josh asks him questions on how students can shine online.
Key Takeaways:
  • When you get a lot of popularity through the internet it can boost a parent too.
  • Post content online that can help others
  • There's a few advantages of being a kid but having an adult (or someone that can guide you through that process) really helps when building a positive online presence
How did you discover your condition?
When I was 7 years old I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. At first we didn't know what was going on. I was drinking a lot of water. I felt tired all the time until my mom had to go away on a trip. She checked me into the doctor, saw the results, and said that I had type 1 diabetes. The doctor is a good friend of ours; he came back with tears in his eyes and said, “pack your bags and go to the hospital.” My diagnosis was a life changing moment. I didn't know what was going on but I realized that I had an autoimmune disease and that I had to get finger pokes and shots every day for the rest of my life until there was a cure. Those first few weeks in the hospital, I felt alone. I soon found out that there were other kids like me that had type 1 diabetes. I felt there was a need to advocate for type 1 diabetes because it is a horrible disease. I wanted to help out. Not only me but the friends that I had met that have type 1 diabetes as well. I started out with coming up with small ideas that could help me out with type 1 diabetes. I entered an invention contest called Invent Idaho and I ended up getting best of show the first year, for a diabetic invention of mine called the “Swipe and Wipe”.
What did you do to raise awareness about Type 1 Diabetes?
At first I didn't reach many people. A few months later I was featured on a Nickelodeon show and when it aired the entire community held a showing of the game show. That boosted my name and got the community involved. It helped raise awareness for Type 1 Diabetes. From there it empowered me to go on to do more things. I got excited and felt that burn to go out and do whatever I could to raise money to one day get rid of T1D.
How did you come to speak on Capitol Hill?
I entered a contest called Children's Congress in 2013. There were 150 kids that got chosen to speak at Capitol Hill and talk about raising awareness for type 1 diabetes. There is a bill that we were advocating to be passed which was called the SDP bill and it raised $150 million a year towards juvenile diabetes research. That's a big part of finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. I got chosen for that contest.
How did Carson build and grow his online presence?
Carson has a lot of ideas, he always come up with ways to advocate for what he believes in. After the contest, a lot of TV stations and radio shows wanted to interview him. I started looking and there was quite a bit of information out there about him online. It was somewhere around that time that Carson decided to start a blog.
When he went to Capitol Hill, we started that blog. What really boosted the people looking at his blog was when he went to a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation co-sponsored contest with Ford Motor Company and he won for the country and designed a race car. Ford Motor Company put his blog in a piece that blasted out to every dealer. His blog was getting thousands of hits daily.
From there, people started calling us. At times, I almost had to be sure that I was not trying to put my kid out there -- because to be honest when you get a lot of popularity online, it can boost a parent too. I had to be very careful that I wasn't exploiting my child. There were times we had to say he didn't want to do an interview. I had to listen to him as a young boy. Most everything he wanted to do. He wanted to do it but not because of the media. It's because he had a passion for advocating for this disease to get cured.
Carson’s quick tips on how students can build their online presence:
  • Get known
  • Find a mentor
  • Be persistent
What are some tips for other parents who are wondering how their student can be online in a positive way?
I'm a school counselor over in Spokane Elementary School. We talk to kids all the time about digital footprints. We warn them that their digital footprint can be positive or negative. I was a little bit leery at first of Carson being online. We didn't go searching for popularity online, it kind of came to us. But we have found the positive in it.