A New Normal

Teenager, Paul Crawford, defies stereotype. He doesn’t eat French fries. His standard fast-food order is a burger, salad and water.

Paul CrawfordThings might be different if he hadn’t been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a second-grader. Since diabetes doesn’t run in the family, the diagnosis was unexpected. That pivotal moment forced the entire family to make life-style changes.

“I was shocked and scared,” said Alissa, Paul’s mother. “I knew it was serious, and it had something to do with food and blood sugar, but I had no idea how all-consuming this health condition would be for the whole family.”

In Paul’s eight-year-old mind, he thought he would undergo a cure and be done. The reality was more evident when he got home from the doctor’s appointment and wanted a snack. Suddenly, he had a whole new regime that included checking his blood sugar and monitoring his food intake. By the end of second grade, he taught himself division in order to calculate sugar amounts.

“He was so excited, but it was hard to be excited about my child having to do that. Until you live with diabetes, you don’t realize—it never goes away.” Alissa said. “He c