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This is us

Welcome to our website, we are Rick and Deb. It became extremely important for us to learn and understand all we could about Type 1 Diabetes when our precious young grandson was diagnosed. I spent countless hours online gathering as much information as I could find about Type 1 Diabetes.

Amazingly, I found all kinds of help and tips for the parents but no support for the grand-parents. The health care team was busy teaching and explaining to the parents but we were often left out of the loop. We were dependent upon our daughter to relay the information but in the beginning, she was overwhelmed and exhausted from spending all her time in the hospital learning how to care for her son that oftentimes the info didn’t get relayed to us.

Since we are not the primary caregivers the health care team is not teaching us so we are left to try and learn on our own. Our daughter has become better with relaying information now that things are not so new and scary.

It was the first few weeks after diagnosis that we were feeling quite alone in this scary time. This really bothered me. I mean we want to still be active participants in our grandson’s life and wanted to learn how to properly care for his medical needs as well as still have lots of fun adventures with him.

Over the course of the next few months as I continued searching, we came across many helpful tips, products, and even recipes that have made things so much easier. We created this “grand-parenting-type-1-diabetic” as a way to not only share the knowledge we learned but to be that support system to others who find themselves facing the same challenges. We can be the support for them that we couldn’t find for ourselves.

Keep in mind that the information we share is solely based on our experiences with our grandson and does not in any way imply medical advice. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations. We merely wish to share our experience with the hope that other grandparents won’t feel alone in their struggle to adapt to life with a Type 1 Diabetic grandchild.


How Type 1 Affects Our Life

I remember that June day when our daughter called us from the hospital in tears as she explained her four-year-old son had just been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Naturally, we didn’t fully understand how this was about to change all of our lives forever. My wife and I are active grandparents and enjoy many activities with our grandchildren and we were totally unsure what changes we would need to make to continue enjoying sleepovers and other fun activities with our grandson.

We were full of questions like:

  • What do we feed him?
  • Can we still take him hiking, fishing, sailing, swimming?
  • Can we still have sleepovers?
  • How do we give him his shots?
  • How much insulin?
  • How do we know how to care for him?

We were, of course, terrified of getting it wrong as that could be devastating.

We have spent countless hours researching Type 1 Diabetes and learning how with some tweaks life can continue just as before. What a relief.

The hardest part was discovering where to find quality information and the support of other grandparents facing the same struggle because as grandparents we are often left out of the loop.

We have learned how to convert many family favorite recipes into low carb, zero sugar recipes that we all enjoy.Little black bag

By having the right kinds of snacks always available and that precious little black bag we can successfully be Alex’s pancreas and do live pretty much the same as before.

Much of the content on this site will center around how to make everyday life with a Type 1 child a little easier.

We will discuss things like calculating carbs to accurately determine insulin dosage, less stressful finger pokes, giving the injections, healthy nutrition and snacks, and physical activities. Learning how to incorporate these changes into everyday life.


We’ve struggled to learn the best ways to be supportive and also to actually care for his health needs when he is with us. We have learned so much and continue to learn more every day. It is our goal to help other grandparents have an easier transition into life with a Type 1 Diabetic.


It is our goal to share useful tips, products, and recipes with others and to offer support to aid in their Type 1 journey.

It is possible to carry on and have many more wonderful adventures and make many more beautiful memories with your Type 1 grandchild.

By learning as much as you can about living with a Type 1 you will ultimately enhance your relationship with that grandchild because you will be able to properly care for him when he is with you and give his parents some much-needed time off.

If you have any questions or have something to contribute please feel free to comment below.

Happy Grand-parenting.

Richard & Deborah Hannaford



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4 thoughts on “OUR STORY”

  1. Hi Richard & Deborah
    Sorry about your Grandson’s diagnosis but he’ll be okay as he’s got THE BEST GRANDPARENTS A KID COULD ASK FOR!
    Seriously, I tip my hat to the two of you for having such an active involvement in his health and well being and also for creating this website to share your knowledge & experiences with others who unfortunately find themselves in the same position.
    I wish you and your family all the best (particularly your grandson) and I look forward to following your journey and learning from you both.

    • Thank you so much for your words of encouragement Paul. That goes a long ways to inspiring us to continue to share our journey in the often scary Type 1 world. Everyday we see our grandson learning and growing the same as any other kid. To look at him you would never know he had such potentially life threatening health threats every day. We are thankful for the many advances in medical technology to make Diabetes Management that much easier. We are hopeful for a cure one day but until then we will continue to share our journey. Some articles may be directly Type 1 related and other just grand-parenting things we do with all the grandkids (we have 10). Thanks again for your kind words, we wish you all the best in your own life.


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