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This is us

Welcome to our website, we are Rick and Deb, partners in business and life.

Rick tends to be very technically inclined and I am not. For that reason, I focus my energies on what I can do, research, write, cook and care for the family.

Rick looks after the technical side of things which seems to work well for us.

Where It All Began

Our 4-year-old grandson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in June of 2019.

Type 1 Diabetes DiagnosisBecause of that diagnosis, it became extremely important for us to learn and understand all we could about type 1 diabetes.

This led us on an incredible journey we could never have imagined.

It was a journey of discovery.

Discovery about all things diabetes-related but also the discovery of ourselves and what we truly wanted to do in life.

As I spent countless hours online gathering information on diabetes I noticed there was no specific platform to offer support to grandparents.

Why is this important?

During the initial weeks and months after a new diagnosis, the parents are busy learning how to care for their child with this new reality.

They are scared, exhausted, terrified of getting it wrong and it undoubtedly slips their mind to pass on every little thing they have been taught.

The healthcare team focus their energies on teaching the primary caregivers (parents) what to do.

The grandparents (and any other family members who are not primary caregivers)  are sadly left out of the loop.

We felt so left out and had so many of our own fears and questions.

After all, we had no idea how to care for Alex now and were afraid all our sleepovers and adventures would come to a screeching halt now because of a seemingly invisible disease.

The lack of support available to grandparents was agonizing.

The birth of a website

So I did the only thing I could think of.

I spent countless hours online gathering as much information as I could find about Type 1 Diabetes.

As I continued searching for answers, I realized that I was having the time of my life researching and learning.

I felt a renewed energy and started thinking that perhaps we could become that support system for other grandparents out there.

I continued researching, learning and discovering many tips,  products and even recipes that have made things so much easier.

About five or six months into our T1D journey we came up with the idea of creating a website where we could share our Type 1 journey and become the support system for others.

We discovered a fantastic free training platform that teaches how to create your very own website, check it out here.

And so “grand-parenting-type-1-diabetic” was born.

While the name reflects who we are, we certainly offer support and share our knowledge and experience with anyone beginning their journey into the type 1 world.

It is important to keep in mind that the information is solely based on our experiences with our grandson and research I have conducted and does not in any way imply medical advice.

Always follow your doctor’s recommendations.

We merely wish to share our experiences with the hope that others won’t feel so alone in their struggle to adapt to life with a type 1 diabetic child.

How Does 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.

As grandparents, we lead an active lifestyle and enjoy many great activities with our grandchildren. Alex’s diagnosis left us feeling quite unsure of any changes that may be necessary or even if we would be able to continue sharing adventures and sleepovers with Alex.

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.

What Did We Do?

We 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.

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

Having the right kinds of snacks always available and that precious little black bag handy means we can successfully be Alex’s pancreas and do life 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 injections, healthy nutrition and snacks, and physical activities. Learning how to incorporate these changes into everyday life.

We will also discuss what to do when blood sugars are too high(hyperglycemia) or too low (Hypoglycemia), potentially avoiding any long-term effects.

Of course, we will also share our adventures with Alex and the other grandchildren, we have been blessed with 10 of them.

Why Do We Want To Help Others?

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 also learned about many of the complications of diabetes that can occur when it isn’t managed properly.

Sharing this knowledge with you will help you recognize potential problems before they become serious and you will know what to do in an emergency situation.

We have learned so much and continue to learn more every day.

It is our goal to help other grandparents (caregivers) have an easier transition into life with a Type 1 Diabetic and discover like we did that life really isn’t that different.

I am not in any way a medical practitioner, please do not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another healthcare provider. We only share our experiences. We are affiliates, this means that if you purchase something from a link or ad on this site we may receive a small commission. This in no way affects the price you pay.

Our Goal

Our goal is to share useful tips, products, and recipes with others and to offer support to aid in your 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.

Best wishes.

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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