Teens with Diabetes and Driving Event

Driving Cars in a Traffic Jam

Driving Cars in a Traffic Jam (Photo credit: epSos.de)

I had the pleasure of attending the JD No Limits event Check B4U Drive last week with my 14-year-old son.  The morning started out with the agony of getting my 14-year-old up early on a Saturday.   He is notoriously awful in the morning and this was no exception, he did come close to getting either cold water poured on him or by suggestions on Facebook some toothpaste in his face.  Lucky for him he finally got himself motivated to get into the car to nap until we arrived.

This event was provided by JD No Limits a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide motivation and support for individuals living with Type 1 Diabetes.  Part of their mission has been to provide for Teens with Diabetes a Safe Driver program.  This program is extremely important to the founding members. Many with connections to Type 1 Diabetes, racing and unfortunate experiences with driving while low.

Our day started by checking in and meting one of the driving instructors to do a safety check of our car.  Thankfully I had just had new tires placed on the car about a month ago.  We learned about tread depth and he taught Brandon how to check the tire pressure and open the hood of the car.  I think that this is the first time my son has ever done any of these tasks!

We moved into the classroom where we met the driving instructors, who were awesome with backgrounds in race car driving, training and military tactical driving.  Along with nerves of STEEL!

We also met Amy the Certified Diabetes Educator, who has an amazing ability to connect with teens with diabetes.  Teen driving is a privilege and having diabetes adds an additional layer of safety to consider.  Amy was able to share information about the importance of testing before you drive and got them talking. She gave them the time and the safe space for them to talk openly about being a teen with diabetes.  They shared their stories of how teachers and friends sometimes just don’t get it.

Then the fun stuff!  We went out side and the kids all piled into cars with an instructor.  They took turns driving, through obstacle courses, learning how to stop on a dime, breaking on slick surfaces and how to avoid an accident.  It was great to watch the kids speed down the enclosed course and stomp on the breaks, run over orange cones and get better with each pass.

This was an amazing day the kids learned valuable skills and how to stay safe while driving.  There was more to the day then this.  Being able to connect with other kids that understand the pressure they are under to perform in school or in sports and the pressure of managing a disease that other kids their age do not have to contend with was priceless.

There are moments when T1D feels isolating to kids and parents and events such as this are ways for us to connect and recharge and know we are not in this alone.  Thank you for a wonderful day!

To learn more about this program please visit http://www.jdnolimits.org