Abigail McGlone has had Type 1 Diabetes for over 10 years. A few years back she came up with the idea of making her own educational film about diabetes to help other kids. Abi also created a little character named Doodlez who is the film’s mascot, cheering us on as we take the steps needed to make this film project a reality. Abi and her mom will be selling Doodlez plush toys at Medfield Day on September 25th. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Doodlez will go to the Fitness Together Cardio For A Cure fundraising campaign for the American Diabetes Association.
The Diagnosis – Type 1 Diabetes
It was September 5th, 1999. What would normally be a carefree Labor Day weekend was not turning out that way. Abigail, our cheerful and energetic almost 3 year-old daughter was not herself. She was exceptionally thirsty, soaking through multiple layers of diapers overnight and acting very lethargic. Surprisingly, a doctor missed these classic symptoms during our office visit just three days earlier. Then on September 6th, Labor Day Monday, things still didn’t seem right so we went back to a different doctor. This time, much to our shock and despair, we were told to go immediately to Children’s Hospital Boston since Abigail almost certainly had Juvenile Diabetes.
Dealing with the Disease – The Grade School Years
It’s been over 10 years since that devastating weekend. Abigail, who now goes by Abi, is a 13 year-old young lady who wears an insulin pump 24/7 and checks her blood sugar 5-7 times per day. An active teenager with lots of friends, Abi has learned to live with her diabetes quite well, without too many struggles. However, throughout her school years she has often been frustrated with people not truly understanding her disease. Abi felt that the educational films about diabetes shown at school throughout the years were either outdated or didn’t give an accurate story of what it’s like to live with this disease. This is when Abi came up with the idea to make our own educational film to help kids understand what it’s really like to live with Type 1 diabetes.
Doing Something to Help – The Film & Doodlez!
Abi’s idea to create a film sounded like a good idea to her family. After much consideration, lots of time and work, a script was conceived and written for a ten minute film which we titled, “The Balancing Act: A Day in the Life of a Kid with Type 1 Diabetes”. We chose this name since diabetes itself is a daily balancing act, constantly balancing insulin, food and exercise in order to keep blood sugar levels in a safe and healthy range. Around this same time, Abi created a character that she was always doodling on her schoolwork, and she called this character Doodlez. It was such an adorable little character that we decided to have Doodlez introduce the film. We also had Doodlez made into a 4” plush toy that kids can clip onto their backpacks. Our goal is to get Doodlez in the hands of newly diagnosed kids, along with the educational DVD. At this point we have an inventory of 500 Doodlez plush toys ready to go and waiting for the film to be made!
Moving Forward – Get that Film Made!
Our goal is to get the film produced as soon as possible and to make it available to schools, hospitals and libraries throughout the United States. We believe this will help kids and teachers gain a better understanding of what life is like on a daily basis for kids with Type 1 diabetes. By doing this, Abi hopes that kids like her will be able to avoid the anxiety and frustration she felt during her grade school years. Our wish is to find a corporate partner, ideally a blood glucose meter manufacturer who would sponsor the film. Once completed, we would package the film, the glucose meter and the Doodlez plush-toy and have it ready for distribution throughout the United States. Abi is also the voice of the animated Doodlez, who appears in our website and in our 10 minute film. The picture on the left shows Abi recording the voice of Doodlez in a recording studio in New York City.
Go here for more information on Doodlez
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Map to Medfield Day