Search Close Search
Search Close Search
Page Menu

Paying it Forward: T1D Warrior Bags

Braden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) on February 6, 2017 at 10 years old.  He successfully manages his blood sugars while playing baseball, football, basketball and golf. Each sport affects him differently and he has learned how to manage the various situations. He takes his pump off while on the basketball court, wears a pouch/spy belt during baseball games, and changes his infusion sites based on what is coming up. “When I’m golfing, I put it on my stomach or back,” he said.  “I won’t put it on my arm if I know I will be pitching.” 

His mother says he's a good planner and very strategic.  ”Braden learned that he tends to go low while he's playing outside with friends, and goes high when playing competitive sports like basketball," she said. 

On his first diaversary, Braden decided to pack and donate bags for children in the hospital with a new diabetes diagnosis. He filled them with coloring books, crayons, legos, toy cars, calculators, measuring cups and books.  He put a letter in each bag that read "You can do anything you want in life. You're a #Type1Diabetes Warrior too!"

Braden remembers being bored and having little to do besides watch TV when he was in the hospital.  A little over a month after returning home, he received the JDRF Bag of Hope, containing information, supplies, and Rufus, the Bear with Diabetes®.  “I wish I had that stuff when I was in the hospital,” Braden said.  So I decided to put these bags together for other kids to enjoy while they are still there.”   

One of the bags was given to 8 year old Colby who was at UMass Memorial going through his three day training, having just been diagnosed with T1D. He was also scared and bored in his hospital room, while he and his parents received an overwhelming amount of information about their “new normal.” 

Colby plays hockey for the Jr. Railers and also plays lacrosse.  He appreciated reading Braden’s letter, and receiving his T1D Warrior bag. On his first diaversary, Colby decided to “pay it forward” and delivered bags that he and his family prepared for newly diagnosed children. 

His letter reads:

Who Am I?  Colby – so much more than a type 1 diabetic

Here is what I can do:

  • I can be a top hockey player
  • I can kill it at lacrosse
  • I can have friends over
  • I can go to my friends’ houses and have sleepovers
  • I can go to school and not be bothered by it
  • I can go on field trips
  • I can go swimming
  • I can play and have fun
  • I can eat all the yummy foods I love
  • I can count on my family and friends to help me with my highs and lows
  • I can feel my highs and my lows
  • I can handle my diabetes
  • I can live a happy life
  • I am stronger than I ever was

Here is what I can’t do:

  • Make my own insulin

T.J. is another boy who was inspired by Braden & Colby's generosity.  What these three boys have lost in pancreas function, they more than make up for with heart! 

Meet Braden      Meet T.J.