Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diabetes Blog Week: Post #7

True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge us to combat. -Napoleon Bonaparte

This post is titled "Diabetes Hero". As if there's ever been any question, my hero is about 3'6", weighs around 51 pounds, has chocolate brown eyes and the most beautiful curls. She's 6 years old and is sound asleep, wrapped in her princess comforter and dreaming of a better tomorrow.

Laila isn't quite old enough to blog, and unfortunately, we don't know anyone with diabetes. She's seen a few people here and there with a pump, but no one we've ever been in contact with. This post is entirely about her. She's amazing, to say the least, and she'll forever band e my hero.

Occasionally, I remember "D-Day", and the things that stand out most to me are not the tears, the needles, or the sleepless nights, but the smiles, the laughter, and the perseverance I saw in Laila's eyes. I knew the minute she was finally allowed to eat, after a painstaking 24 hours, that diabetes wasn't going to own her, she was going to own it.

The first few days were hard, I'm not sure who shed more tears, Laila, Dustin, or myself. By the end of her hospital stay, it was Laila who was comforting me, not the other way around. She doesn't know the true impact this disease is going to have on her life, she only sees tomorrow. The tears that I shed were for the rest of her life, for the future she's going to endure, for the loss of her innocence.

A hero, in my opinion, is someone who looks into the face of adversity, and doesn't back down. Laila has no choice but to do exactly this. Her fingers are polka-dotted with scars, her arms and legs just the same. This doesn't make her any less beautiful, smart, funny, or independent. Laila doesn't let her diabetes slow her down, she loves to play, read, dance, run, swim, and eat. There's nothing she can't do, because she believes in herself, and we believe in her, too.

If I could be more like anyone, I'd choose to be more like Laila. She inspires me to be strong, to ignore what others think and to follow my dreams. One day, when she's more comfortable, she's going to make a great role model for other children with diabetes. She's wise beyond her years, she understands the seriousness of this disease, sometimes I think, better than anyone. I know she's in inspiration to others, and that makes me even more proud to be her mom.

Laila Bernadette Smith, you are truly my hero.


  1. *tears* this is amazing, you both are amazing.

  2. I'm sure there are great things in her future! She should write a book- for kids. Kids recently diagnosed and kids who have friends with diabetes. Educational & informative, like a kids heart to heart.

  3. BEAUTIFUL words! Laila is who she is because of you, don't under estimate yourself in this.

    Laila, what a strong and beautiful young lady you are. I have yet to hear about diabetes running your life, and I hope you never let it. You are strong. You are beautiful. You can do anything you set your mind to doing. Laila, without ever meeting you (yet) you are MY hero too!

  4. My Dearest Laila, this is your cousin Angela, although you probably don't remember me because you were so little when I saw you last but I remember your beautiful smile like it was yesterday. I was just diagnosed with diabetes two and half months ago myself and I am struggling so hard to endure this disease that God has thrown my way. I am trying extremely hard to manage this disease the best I know how. Like you, I have my highs and lows but still continually find myself asking, " Why Me?" But I, like you, have to keep pushing forward and believe that there are bigger and better plans for us! Laila, I am SO VERY PROUD of how strong you are at such a young age! I love reading about how well you are embracing your diabetes! Your mommy says that, "you are her hero" and YOUR MY HERO TOO! I just keep it in my head that if my lil 6 year cousin can push forward and be as strong as you are than I can too. Continue to smile and be who you are cause NOTHING will ever take that from you. You inspire my everyday Laila and I love you very much :)

  5. Sobbing right now!!! Joli, I know that you consider Laila your hero, but trust me when I say that I have seen the way she looks at you....pouty or not...and you are indeed, her hero. I love the way you love ALL of your children, and how you protect them and hold them tight. I have said it once before and I will say it again...I could only dream of being 1/2 the mom you are. Love you!


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