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JDRF Parents' First Friday Out / Kids @ the Museum

Posted Oct 04 2009 11:14pm

A few months ago, Liz & I were talking about a number of circumstances that sadly, though often occur, with type 1 kids. One situation is that parents very often are limited in their ability to "take a night off" without concern that the "babysitter" is capable of looking after the type 1 child. Another situation is that though there are huge numbers of type 1 kids, many of them do not often know another T1 child or even a teen or adult. So this conversation sparked an idea w/ Liz...

On the first Friday of every month, downtown Raleigh has "First Friday" where many of the businesses stay open extra hours, live music is scheduled, restaurants have special events, and many of the museums, galleries, etc. hold events. Liz reached out to the Eastern JDRF chapter and offered a First Friday event for type 1 kids & their siblings where the parents dropped them off @ the Museum of Natural Science for 3+ hours... giving the parents a chance to enjoy the FF events downtown... and the kids a chance to meet, play, and see the museum all with supervision by a group of adults that volunteered to help.

She asked me to be the "diabetic in-charge" and focus on the T1 kids care -- given that I've done a number of programs like this (Friends for Life with CWD for example), being T1 (obviously), and b/c of my WFR background with emergency care.

When I arrived, I made all kids aware that I too was T1... told them what my last bg was, when I last ate, showed them my pump & we chatted a little... mainly to breakdown any discomfort barriers they might have had. We discussed how we'd check bg's during the evening and what I wanted them to do if they felt "funny" at all. All total we had something like 15 or 16 kids, 7 of whom were T1 with the others being siblings.

They got the chance to explore the museum, draw/color, play games and with various toys, do puzzles, watch a movie about alligators, and meet some of the live museum animals (blue-tongued skink, alligator, gray corn snake, and hissing cockroaches). Most adults I know would freak out even seeing many of these animals but all the kids were thrilled!

We had 1 low about an hour into the night (a post-dinner low which they ate before getting there). At "snacktime" all were really good bg-wise, and many were really enthusiastic about showing me "how their pumps worked" ;)

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The reports after the event were really good and the kids apparently had an awesome time. Liz has gotten a number of requests for continuation of these types of activities, and the parents were very pleased with how things had gone... and very glad for the few hours of R&R...

Another "Kid's Night" is currently scheduled for Friday June 5. Contact the Eastern NC JDRF chapter office for more info...
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