In this truly inspiring memoir, Janet Hatch shares her compelling story of raising her strong-willed daughter who, at age eleven, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. From the beginning of her life, Zandra experienced being different as a result of dietary restrictions, but nothing would prepare her for the tumultuous feelings that Zandra's diagnosis would bring. Janet's story chronicles the day-to-day life of raising a child through the teen years and into young adulthood, while reconciling her own insecurities.
After experiencing complications and additional illnesses from diabetes, Zandra's life became uncertain and bleak. When she learned of the death of her friend from diabetes, she began to spiral downward. This is a love story between a mother and daughter and demonstrates that although the bond may be challenged, it was created to endure. From travelling to Iceland in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association to receiving her beloved diabetic alert dog, Cinnamon, this story is one that will encourage all those who love a child, to look beyond fear and see beauty in every challenge.
NOTE: This book will be free during the tour.
When the finish line was drawing near, I could see the swell of supporters ready to high-five the finishers. I was excited to be amongst the people being cheered and felt personal satisfaction with my run. I knew that Zandra must have already passed through, as I didn’t see her or pass her on my way. I was excited to hear about her experience and compare stories. She would have no doubt seen the supporters and taken notice of the same panoramic views as I had along the way.
Once I reached the end, reality stabbed me like a knife. I didn’t see Zandra anywhere. I had expected she would remain alongside the finish line to welcome me across. I could feel panic getting the better of me, twisting in my chest and pounding against my ribs. I searched frantically across the crowd for a Diabetes Canada volunteer, looking for the same race tank that I had on. I commanded myself to come across calm, yet I’m sure that my fear betrayed me. I managed to locate one of our volunteers and they appeased me, telling me that Zandra had finished a while ago and shouldn’t be far. I knew from experience that after an activity, when the adrenalin wore off, her blood sugars could plummet and she wouldn’t even notice. I was calculating timelines and trying to anticipate her blood sugars. I knew she didn’t have juice stands anymore or money on her to purchase any if she needed it. I had to find her immediately. I started walking around the crowds, growing more frantic by the step.
The race ended near the parliament buildings and I desperately began to scour all of the lawns in the surrounding area. After about fifteen long, uneasy minutes, I found her. She said she wasn’t sure where to find me and had decided to hang out past the crowds. She didn’t appear bothered by my anxiety, which struck an immediate nerve. I was angered that she hadn’t waited or offered an apology, as she could see I was visibly distraught. I had to see past my emotions quickly and insist she test her blood. I was still concerned that she was low and needed the sugar I was holding. After testing, we found that Zandra’s levels were remarkably good, reminding me that I could never know when my concern would be validated—not that I ever wanted it to be.
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JANET HATCH is a mother of four who lives in Camrose, Alberta. She is passionate about using her experience of raising her diabetic daughter to support parents and caregivers through the emotional twists and turns of what can be a difficult journey of having a child with a serious illness. She is a lover of animals and enjoys spending time in nature with her dog, Axel.
WEBSITE - Janet Hatch – Author
INSTAGRAM - Janet Hatch (@janethatch) • Instagram photos and videos
GOODREADS - Janet Hatch (Author of Zandra)