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Meet Tara S., Parent Mentor at Akron Children's Hospital

Tara S.

Tara's Story

On July 10, 2008 my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two. Prior to his diagnosis, he began losing weight, urinating and drinking frequently, and also had mood fluctuations. My instincts told me something was not right. Reviewing a few online sources prompted me to have him evaluated. Blood work confirmed my suspicion and with a blood sugar reading of 800 our “roller coaster” journey began.

I can remember crying as my husband and I made our way to Akron Children’s Hospital. I can remember feeling overwhelmed, sad, mad, guilty, uncertain, and afraid. He was so little. How could he have diabetes? Did we do something wrong? Taking care of a child with diabetes was a huge adjustment for us and coming home from the hospital felt like bringing back a new child.

Despite the initial shock, our family has been able to handle my son’s diagnosis. Our reliance on God and the supportive doctors, nurses, and outreach staff at Akron Children’s Hospital has kept us afloat the past five years. I have made it a priority to be knowledgeable about all aspects of diabetes. I have also become an advocate for my son as he’s progressed through school. Managing diabetic care outside of home life can be challenging. I am also actively involved in the development of a diabetes support group for families in the Mahoning Valley.

I want to support other parents who have children who have been diagnosed with diabetes. I hope to share some of my experiences to empower and encourage parents as they navigate through the ups and downs of managing this condition. I also welcome any questions that you may have along the way. I want you to know that you are not alone.

Diabetes does not define our lives or my son as a person. I always remind myself that he is a child first. Today, my son is an active and happy seven-year-old who loves to skateboard, play basketball, and imagine that he is a superhero.

Tara is a parent mentor for these conditions: Diabetes.

Tara is a mentor for these care services: Diabetes, Endocrine

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The five differences are:
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