Libby Kemp, T1D at 15

Libby Kemp at diagnosis.

Libby Kemp at diagnosis.

Libby’s answers

Name, age & school: Libby Kemp, 15, Freshman at Pleasanton High School

Diagnosis date: May 18, 2010 (my dad’s birthday)

Things I wish people knew about T1D: I wish people knew that Type 1 and Type 2 Diabeties are not the same thing. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease and that eating sugar doesn’t cause Type 1. Type 1 is insulin dependent. You cannot control it with any amount of diet or exercise. It is not caused by “eating too much sugar,” we can actually eat ANYTHING we want. It is not something genetic! Type 2 can be controlled, it is generally not insulin dependent and can be controlled by proper diet and exercise. Too many people get them mixed up.

Most asked question: “You’re not over weight?”

Weirdest question asked: If my pump was a battery pack.

Libby Kemp now.

Libby Kemp now.

Least favorite question: What’s the difference between Type 1 and Type 2?

T1D camp attended: I have been lucky enough to attend Texas Lions camp in Kerrville for many years. This year I will age out and thats going to be sad but I plan on going back when I’m 18 to be a counselor. It’s an awesome T1D camp. You are with kids like you and you just get to be kids and be at camp, but you are safe. The medical staff to camper ratio is 1-3, so my parents don’t worry about me that week and they get to sleep. And just today I met up with one of my camp friends in San Antonio to spend the day together. We have group text message so we can talk about what’s going on both with our T1D and just life.

Do you play sports: I love sports! This year I am a JV cheerleader, I’ll be trying out for high school soccer next week and I’ll be running track in a few months.

The Kemp Family: Jess, Libby, Laura, Garner and Rumor.

The Kemp Family: Jess, Libby, Laura, Garner and Rumor.

How do your coaches and teammates help you: My classmates are very aware of my situation and are always willing to help if I need it and my coaches are always wanting to learn all they can to keep me safe. I check my sugar A LOT before, during and after my sports. I have a bag with supplies I might need if I get low or high. Some of my coaches connect to my Dex (constant glucose monitor) so they can see what my sugar is doing during practice or games.

One positive thing about having T1D: There is nothing good I would say about T1D.

Best advice for someone just diagnosed with T1D: You will learn something new every day.

Parents’ answers

Names: Jess Kemp, Laura Kemp, Garner Kemp, Libby Kemp

Thoughts the day your child was diagnosed: How can this precious baby girl have Type 1 Diabetes and her live and our lives will never be the same again?

Thoughts today compared to then: We are still learning today, the curve is not as steep as in the beginning but it’s still frustrating and overwhelming at times.

3 things you wish people knew about T1D:

1. T1D and T2D are not the same thing.

2.T1D is insulin dependent and no diet or exercise will change that her pancreas is not functioning at all.

3. T1D is a life long, dynamic, chronic, sleep depriving disease, in which every thing affects blood glucose numbers and everyday is different, and you can die from it overnight.

Least favorite question about T1D “How’s she doing?” Not that we don’t appreciate people asking about her, it’s just they don’t understand that nothing changes the fact that she has this disease and it doesn’t get better or ever less of a disease. As of now there is no cure and until then she will always have to be vigilant.

Best advice for someone just diagnosed with T1D: Breathe!! You’re not alone. You will be totally overwhelmed at first but it does help you learn. And to send your kid to Lions Camp not only for them, but for you.

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