We're Jeff and Natalie Kolok. We live in northwestern Vermont with our three teenage kids: Naomi is 19; Johanna and Nick each thirteen years old. Both Johanna and Nick have type 1 diabetes and Naomi has Celiac Disease. Since April 15, 2005 when Johanna was diagnosed with type 1 at age four, we've been doing what you've been doing: learning as much as we can about this disease and battling it on the go, 24/7. We record and soak up information from a myriad of sources: our kids and their BG meters, their pumps, the medical team and school nurses, teachers, books and blogs, websites and conferences, nutritional tables and scales... and other parents. Our goal, like yours, is simple: to keep our children alive and well in the face of the uncertainties type 1 diabetes has delivered upon us; and to nurture a mindset and habits that will help them own and defeat this disease.
In Spring 2007, we felt led to open our home to children or families affected by diabetes, without knowing what was in store for us. We were surprised to learn about a little boy, then six years old, who was taken into state custody only months before, and while in foster care was diagnosed with type 1. For three months prior to our call, the Vermont family services division had been on a statewide search for his permanent home. There were no "takers" because of his diabetes. Nick has been our son since June 2007 and on September 8, 2008 his adoption was completed.
We've talked with loads of parents of kids with diabetes. While we all may differ in our approaches to diabetes management as much as we differ in parenting style, we share many of the same concerns, experience the same "lows" and rejoice similarly when we hear "6.3". Managing our kids' diabetes and helping them own it requires tremendous commitment, teamwork and support. Sometimes the latter is tough to come by. That's why we started this website. We'll keep doing our part to help raise funds for a cure, and while we're at it, we're committed to helping kids and their parents beat type 1 diabetes through increased community awareness; an informed exchange of ideas and experiences; and sponsorship of initiatives to assist underprivileged kids and their families live better until there's a cure.
Come join us as we support one another in our battle against type 1 diabetes!
Jeff and Natalie