Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guest Blogger: Michelle Atanasoff

One of my fabulous friends has agreed to write a guest blog post for Laila! This is the first of hopefully many guest blog posts to come! Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this with us! Share your story about how Diabetes has had an impact on your life, or the life of a loved one!
My name is Michelle. I am Kaytlyn’s mommy. Kaytlyn is in the same class as Laila. I only knew of the name “Laila” as Kaytlyn was her “buddy” in school and would take her down to the nurse every day to have her blood sugar checked. Kaytlyn knows that when the big hand is on the 7 it is time to go to the nurse. She watches the clock like a hawk. Since then, they have become “buddies”. Ironically enough, they have the exact same birthday too!

Kaytlyn and Laila
Christmas Party, '10
It was close to Christmas that I met Joli, Laila’s Mommy. We met at their class Christmas party. I think we had met prior to that, but this is my first real recollection. I remember asking if it would be okay for Laila to come over for a play date one day. Joli seemed really happy, only for me to find out that no one had ever asked to have Laila over before. They didn’t want to learn or have to deal with her diabetes, at least that is what I concluded. So I began asking questions. And I started reading. And before long I felt confident enough to have Laila over. I’ll admit, I was nervous, but Laila wasn’t. She is a smart cookie. She knows more about her diabetes than adults give her credit for. We had a great time with Laila. And with a chart, an equation to follow and a calculator, we were good. She even stayed for dinner!

I felt honored when Joli and Dustin asked if I would look after Laila and Kenadi while they took a “much needed” trip to Las Vegas. I had Laila from Sunday night to Thursday night. And we did great. I fed her breakfast, snacks and dinner. Her sugar levels were fine, and to my surprise giving Laila her insulin corrections didn’t bother me at all. Laila even told me that I did a good job!

Laila is such a wonderful, free-spirited, caring, loving, and FUNNY little girl. Her diabetes is only a small part of her. Laila has a joyous personality and zest for life. Diabetes won’t be holding this girl back. I am so glad I took the time to get to know Laila and her diabetes. Diabetes is not something to be afraid of, it is just something to monitor and correct when needed. I hope more people will take the time to learn so she can have the opportunity to continue being a child, and play, and have fun.

I love Laila like she was my own daughter. I am so grateful to have her in Kaytlyn and my life. She has this smile that you can’t help but smile back at. Thank you, Laila for showing me that you are just like any other child. Sometimes it takes a child to remind us that a “label” isn’t a reason to stop treating them like anyone else.

Love you! xoxo


  1. I am in tears. How BLESSED is the Smith family to have Michelle, Kaytlyn, and their family in their lives. Diabetes is NOT a label. I am SO grateful for you, Michelle. Taking the time to learn about Laila's condition so you don't have to tell your daughter, "Kaytlyn, you can't have Laila over because she's too complicated of a friend." HOORAH for you! We need more Michelle's who aren't just glad it's not their kid but accepting and helpful.


  2. Oh my goodness, your comment made me cry! Thank you for the kind words. But I don't feel like I deserve them. I would hope that I am just like anyone else. I just hope people will stop to think "what if it was my child?" and then how would they feel. I am not "perfect" in any means with everything to do with her diabetes, but I'm learning as I go, and I call Joli when I don't. I think we need to remember "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

    Michelle (a.k.a Mrs. A)

  3. Michelle I hope to one day get to meet you. Joli talks a lot about you. I like you was not afraid when taking care of Laila. And it is a shame that others dont just learn and educate them selves about diabetes. Doing so little girls like Laila can have fun, eat what they want, and have people who care about them take that special care of them. One day Laila will be grown and will remember the ones who took care of her and helped her and her mommy. Thanks for being one of those moms to Joli and Laila. A happy Joli and Laila makes a happy Wendy <3


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