In the spring of 2011 I was told life-changing news: My daughter had an incurable auto-immune disease that would require painful daily treatment for her to stay alive.

I have watched and participated as my daughter has had over 10,000 shots. I have watched as her face grimaces with severe headaches due to high blood sugars.

I have seen her confused and dazed from an unexplained low and trying to sleep through the nightly finger-sticks. I have watched her beautiful face tremble and jerk while her teeth are hitting together during a hypoglycemic seizure.

But I also have watched her be an AB honor roll student in the GATE program and score the winning shot for her basketball team.

I have watched her declared “Queen of the court” in tennis. I have watched her as a loving daughter and a sassy sister. I have watched this 11-year-old who looks diabetes in the face and says, “It will not define or stop me,” raise awareness of the disease through interviews and advocacy.

I was given the opportunity to take my voice to Capitol Hill on behalf of not just my Type 1 warrior, but all of them. I was able to meet with our state’s congressmen to encourage them to vote in favor of the Special Diabetes Program that would give valuable funds to diabetic research.

Now I hope to watch new technology be discovered and new treatments be found.

I hope to say, “My daughter used to have Type 1 Diabetes.”

LISA SHEPHARD

Rice Road

Ridgeville