Insulin Pumps and Princesses

6/29/16
WRITTEN BY: Michelle LeGault
PHOTOGRAPHY: Karin from Dnk photography
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Even princesses get their sugar checked.

Winifred told me a few weeks ago that she didn’t think this was true. She told me that ballerinas and princesses do not check their sugar or wear insulin pumps. Winifred is nearly 3 years old and told me these things with absolute certainty. She would know after all, because she checks her sugar an average of 10 times a day.

And, as any 3-year-old little girl is, Winifred is an authority on princesses and ballerinas. She reads books about them, has seen them in performances, watches them in early morning cartoons — and not once has she seen a ballerina or princess who needs to prick her finger and use a glucose meter. So, it would seem that Winifred was right.

In a recent update on “what’s new with Winifred,” I had mentioned her comments about not knowing a ballerina or a princess with T1D. Winnie is still very young and I think she is just making observations at this point — I don’t believe she is truly disheartened or sad when she is sharing these thoughts with us. But, I know she is wrong. I know there are real people out there with T1D who are dancers and so I want her to be aware of them so that she can feel empowered. It is important to both David and me that Winnie knows that she is not limited by her diabetes. She can be both a ballerina, a girl who loves tutus and someone living with T1D.

A friend of ours read this update on Winnie and then a little while later tagged me on Facebook in a story on “Humans of Minneapolis.” This was a story featuring a dancer with Type 1 Diabetes. I’m not sure what my friend expected me to do from there, but being the journalist researcher (read: armature detective) that I am, I deduced that the person in the photo was named Stephanie W. because someone name Stephanie W. kept “liking” every single comment under the photograph. I clicked on the link to Stephanie W’s profile and what do you know.. we have 4 friends in common. One of these friends, in fact, used to rent a room in my house. Immediately I texted Angela, our friend and former housemate, Winnie’s comments about ballerinas and princesses and told her that I’d just discovered her friend Stephanie may be a good role model for Winnie. I wanted to know:

Who was this Stephanie person?Michelle LeGault_5
How did Angela know her?
Were they still in touch?
Would she be interested in meeting Winnie?

Less than a day later, I received a reply that Stephanie was an old friend from theatre and she WOULD be interested in meeting Winnie. In fact, she would be willing to dress for the occasion and teach Winnie a little choreographed routine. As Stephanie and I began texting back and forth, we realized something that does not happen often when you  in a city of 400,000 people. We are neighbors.

Stephanie and her husband own a house just two blocks away from us. In fact, they live on our street.

As we started planning a date for our dance session, I posted part of this story on Facebook and a friend of mine, Karin, offered to take photographs that morning. (On a side note, Karin has her own business and she does really incredible work.)

Below, are the photos from our meeting last week.

At the beginning there was a tiara presentation and a brief moment of sugar checking. And then, there was Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” (Winnie’s current favorite) and a whole lot of dancing.
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More from Michelle on T1D toddler parenting. Read Courtney Gale’s account of Dancing in The Macy’s Day Parade.



Michelle LeGault

Michelle LeGault is the mother of two beautiful children. She knew very little about Type 1 diabetes before her 16-month-old (now 3 and thriving!) was diagnosed in the summer of 2014. Michelle and her husband now use their family blog to advocate and educate for Type 1 Diabetes awareness in addition to writing about their adventures and mis-adventures alike while living in Minneapolis, MN. Presently, their family is preparing to serve a 2-year stint with an overseas missionary school in Prague.