Since last year's Emma Louise shade was such an amazing success, allowing us to raise close to $1700 for the Cancer Council, we decided not long after that we'd like to do another charity shade every year, and since World Diabetes Day has just passed, we figured it is the perfect time to announce our beautiful blue limited edition polish and tell you about the charity we'll be donating to, as well as a little something about the gorgeous little girl who designed it.
And for that, I'll turn you over to her mother Hannah.
So this rambling essay is long and probably to most, very boring. But I ask that you please read what you can. Recognizing Type One before a child becomes poorly is lifesaving. Rae was diagnosed in May 2012 when she was 9 years old. she had been losing weight over a few months but we thought it was a growth spurt. She has become tired all the time and would fall asleep at the drop of a hat, where she was full of boundless energy before. Then came the signs that are so obvious now, but at the time you would never think that it would happen to your own child. She was drinking excessive amount of fluids and was needing the bathroom all the time. Its silly to look back now, but at the time you really don't consider anything bad would happen to your family.
I picked her up after school where I was met by her teacher who told me that she hadn't been feeling well that day. Rae got in the car and fell asleep straight away. The teacher then said that she thought I should know that Rae had been drinking up to 8 cups of water in class for about 3 weeks. (!&*%?@)
Heading home I asked her how her day had been but she wouldn't answer me. She was rolling her eyes and wouldn't wake up. I drove straight to the doctor who did a urine sample and finger prick blood test. A normal persons blood glucose is between 4-8 mmols, and hers was 18. We were rushed to hospital were she was semi conscious for a day. Her levels climbed until she reached 32 mmols. She had something called Diabetic Ketoacidosis.
Heres a description from Diabetes UK:
Consistently high blood glucose levels can lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This happens when a severe lack of insulin means the body cannot use glucose for energy . The body starts to break down other body tissue as an alternative energy source. Ketones are the by-product of this process. Ketones are poisonous chemicals which build up, if left unchecked, and will cause the body to become acidic. Hence the name ‘acidosis’.
Anyway - to cut an already very long story short..... we stayed in hospital for a while - and here we are a year and a half later. We are very lucky, so many children are left undiagnosed until they become so ill with DKA, that they don't make it
Her pancreas does not produce any insulin at all - and so injects insulin 2 hourly so that glucose can be broken down in the body. This is a lot for a 9 year old to deal with, both physically and emotionally. It has been a very long and bumpy road for everyone in our family. The nature of the beast with Type One is the constant battle to try and get a persons blood glucose levels as close to between 4-8 mmols as possible. Just to give you an idea of how difficult that can be, we probably hit single figures maybe once a day if we are lucky - and that's with testing every 2 hours.
You'd be surprised how a lot of people around you become fearful of you and your friends. It took me (and is still taking me) a long time to try and get back to a normal life. A lot of people ran out of patience with both her and Me. A perfect example - I was involved in and fell so behind on several polish swaps at this time with people I had been friends with for a couple of years. I knew I was so behind and felt awful. I was dropped so quickly, no one giving me the chance to explain. People stopped asking Rae round to play or to dinner. We both felt isolated and it was a pretty sad time. Who knew something like this could affect your life so much?
So I suppose what I am hoping people will learn from this is at least these important points. There is so much confusion around what the Types of different Diabetes are, and what it means to have Type One or Type Two. Here goes!
1. No, you do not have to eat a lot of sugar to 'catch' Type One Diabetes.
2. There are 2 main Types - Type One and Type Two, although there are others that can include Type One and a Half, and Brittle Diabetes. Not every diabetic has the same Type of diabetes.
3. No, I did not feed my daughter an exclusive diet of donuts, fizzy pop, chocolate and junk food. Type One is an Auto Immune Disease - Nothing or No one can stop a Person from becoming Type One.
4. Yes, she can still have treats, and no, she cant give you her diabetes.
5. Please do invite her for Tea - she eats the same food as everyone else - just with a little more planning and a calculated dose of insulin.
6. Children/people with Type One or Two diabetes are no different to you or I. They aren't going to grow an extra head right before your very eyes or anything. Treat them as you always would.
Its is so important to recognise the signs of the onset of Type One diabetes. Children can and have died because no one had picked up on the signs. Some symptoms include:
- Increased and unquenchable thirst.
- Unusually Tired and lethargic
-Unexplained Weight loss
- Urinating more frequently
- A sweet smell on the breath, often likened to wine, pear drops, or even acetone for you polish addicts!
It is so important to spread the word, and this polish is going to reach people all over the world, if just some of those people took the time to read the signs and check out the links, a few lives could well be saved. Because so many people are misinformed about Type One and Type Two, charities and donations are often looked over in favour of others. With the (incorrect) opinion that diabetics must have bought it on themselves, I cant say I blame them. I am hoping that the launch of this nail polish will encourage just a few people to learn about what Type One is really all about, and just how serious it is.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to blow my mum trumpet and let people know just how special of a girl Rae is. She loves to read, and knows to how to throw some shapes! (I don't know how to feel about the twerking yet, its either fascination or horror but I'm not sure yet). She loves to rollerskate and is very creative, loving to draw and make things. She loves her friends and is a great friend to all that know her.I don't know that I could have coped with something as overwhelming as this at such a young age. She has such a beautiful spirit and I feel so proud to have her in my life. To my wonderful Rae, no amount of needles or insulin can change how amazing you are, and we love you.
To Kaz and her Team: there is nothing I can say to convey the complete and utter amazement and appreciation both Rae and I feel over your kind offer to do this polish. From Leigh's fantastic artwork of Rae and her cat, to the work that has gone into coming up with this polish, nothing this exciting has happened for us in a long time. It is such a huge deal to us and Rae is so thrilled that she gets to be a part of something like this. What girl wouldn't want a polish that's named after them?! Blue is the colour theme for World Diabetes Day - so even if you don't grab a bottle, why don't you rock a blue mani on November 14th!
So without any further delay, I'd like to introduce the newest addition to the Pretty Serious family, Rae's Rainbow. Rae's Rainbow is a gorgeous medium blue jelly filled with tiny blue sparkle particles and bursts of colour in red, gold, pink, orange, silver and purple. It's super sparkly and colourful. just like the little girl who designed it.
Rae's Rainbow will go on sale on the Sunday 1st December, 2013 with $5.00 from every bottle sold being donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the UK, from which Rae and Hannah as well as many other families like theirs receive outstanding support and care. You can check them out at http://www.jdrf.org.uk/.
We're also partnering with Sally Magpies to make Rae's Rainbow available within the UK where JDRF is based without the huge shipping fees from Australia. You'll be able to pick up Rae's Rainbow at our regular retail price from Sally Magpies. who has also offered to kick in an extra 50p per bottle sold to JDRF. If you're in the UK, it's the best place to get your hands on Rae's Rainbow! Spread the word! http://www.sallymagpies.co.uk/
While Rae's Rainbow is a limited edition shade, we're taking a different approach this time. Instead of a set number of polishes. we're offering this polish for a limited time. If this polish sells out at any time between the 1st and 31st December, we'll restock. but once December is over, when the last of the stock is gone, it's gone for good. This not only gives everyone a full month or more to get their hands on a bottle. but also allows us to increase our donation to JDRF.