Just in time for World Diabetes Day at week's end, a D-Mom and wife of a longtime type 1 in England is releasing an update to her e-book written a year ago in the name of diabetes awareness and advocacy.

Young FamilyMeet Debbie Young, a career author with a long history in journalism and public relations who has written several other non-diabetes books ranging from fiction to aiding self-publishing authors. But unlike her past writings, Debbie's new book Coming To Terms With Type 1 Diabetes: One Family's Story of Life After Diagnosis is all about the Young family's personal journey with diabetes. This new 43-pager might be best described as a "blog in book format" as it's a smattering of her online journal entries penned over the course of several years, now compiled into one easy-to-read book format.

Debbie Young. Picture by Clint Randall www.pixelprphotography.co.ukDebbie first wrote and released this self-published e-book for World Diabetes Day 2013, to raise money and awareness for the JDRF, combining previously published posts from her Young By Name blog with some additional original reflections about their lives with type 1. Just this past month, Debbie updated the original e-book with an additional chapter including a blog post from January 2014. Now, she's planning a book launch event the night before World Diabetes Day this Friday -- in England, of course.

The memoir offers a glimpse inside the life of a family dealing with diabetes from several angles -- which includes her husband Gordon, diagnosed with type 1 as an adult about two decades ago, and her daughter Laura, who was diagnosed just a couple weeks before her 4th birthday in 2007.

The purpose of the whole endeavor, in her words: "to provide moral support, encouragement and hope to families; enable those with no T1D experience to get a better understanding, and to help medical professionals view the condition from the perspective of the patient and family." It's also hard to look past the obvious focus on cure research and JDRF support in this book, as it's mentioned many times.

It's interesting to see blogs re-purposed into chapters for a book. As Debbie describes it: "Blog posts, like newspapers, swiftly disappear. Today's newly-published post is tomorrow's virtual fish-and-chips wrapper."

Debbie says she wanted to preserve her diabetes blog posts, and give them a more lasting use than just appearing in cyberspace with the online dividers based on date that tend to get buried quickly.

Reading it, I found each post (er, chapter) to be spot-0n personal, honest and "real." Yet there seemed to be no clear rhyme or reason why these particular blog posts are included, and they don't seem to be arranged in any theme or order, chronological or otherwise. I found this confusing at first, but once I got into it, this factor turned out to be what makes this book stand out for me. It's not a typical book with neat chapters all logically organized and serving a specific purpose or revolving around a particular theme. No, this is just real, no-holds-barred stream-of-life-with-diabetes.

There's a forward by a fellow D-Dad Justin Webb, a broadcast journalist in England at the BBC Radio 3 Today program who has a son with T1D who's close to Laura's age. There's also an intro note from the JDRF UK, as this book is still aimed at raising money for the organization and it's very "Ra Ra JDRF - cure diabetes" promotional in nature. You're constantly reminded of that bias while reading this book, as it's weaved into most of the stories and even includes Debbie Young Book Covera few chapters wholly devoted to how fabulous the JDRF is and why we need a cure.

That's a pretty big theme in the book, actually -- the idea that the best way to cope with type 1 or come to terms with a diagnosis, is to hold out hope for a cure. That's probably a pretty controversial statement, but for Debbie it's something that "any parent of a type 1 child understands." Hmm. Naturally there are also some parents who don't want to build up false hopes in their T1 kids -- at least not for a cure coming any time soon.

All that aside, it's a pretty good-looking book -- c'mon, how awesome is it to see the Blue Circle on the cover, promoting international unity and World Diabetes Day?! And being only 43 pages, it's a super-short read.

As with most of these self-published books, the personal nature of the writing is what hit home for me. From the accounts of how her husband was diagnosed as an adult to how they as a family dealt with their daughter's diagnosis, it is full of emotion and perspective that any D-parent -- and most likely any PWD -- will understand. In other words, I liked the parts where we aren't being hammered with cure talk and hope for that said cure (few of the pages are free of this, sadly), but rather exploring emotions, personal connections and even light-hearted approaches to diabetes life.

For example, I loved the part where Debbie describes how, on the eve of World Diabetes Day 2011, while she and Laura were watching a boxed Laurel and Hardy DVD set, they discovered that Stan Laurel lived with diabetes. "I wasn't sure whether he was type 1 or type 2, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was type 1 for companionship. Laura was delighted to hear the news. Sharing an illness provided a new bond with her comedy hero." Companionship is always good!

Another chapter that describes how the International Diabetes Federation chose Nov. 14 for World Diabetes Day because it's the birthday of insulin co-creator Dr. Frederick Banting, also makes the point that every day is an important one for those of us with D because we never get a day off (right!). What made me smile was how Debbie then pens a D-song to the classic tune "Mrs. Robinson" tune by Simon & Garfunkel:




And here's to Sir Frederick Banting,



Diabetics love you more than you can know (Wo, wo, wo)



God Bless you, Sir Frederick Banting



At least since your research we've had a way



Alive to stay... hey, hey, hey.



(We'd like to celebrate the many lives that you have saved



We'd like to thank you for your research



Look around you, all you see are grateful patients' eyes



That Nobel Prize was the very least that you deserved.)



And here's to Sir Frederick Banting,



Diabetics love you even when hypo (Wo, wo, wo)



God Bless you, Sir Frederick Banting



Your insulin injections help us stay



Alive today... hey, hey, hey.



(Hide your syringe in a place where no one ever goes



Put it in your pantry with your dextrose



It's a little secret, just our T1D affair



Most of all, hide your complications from the kids)



Coo coo ca choo, Frederick Banting



Diabetics love you more than you can know (Wo, wo, wo)



God bless you, Sir Frederick Banting



We wish that we could meet you just to say



Thanks to you, we're alive today.



(Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon



Counting out the carbs before our dinner



Cry about it, shout about it



We don't get to choose



Every way we look at it, we lose)



Though now it's gone, our old carefree life,



Still we turn our grateful eyes to you (Woo, woo, woo)



For thanks to Sir Frederick Banting



Though normal life has left and gone away



Thanks to you, we're here to stay.




Great song parody, Debbie, and a fun addition to the book!

You can find Debbie's book on Amazon for $2.99 in Kindle e-book format or $9.00 for paperback. All the proceeds go to the JDRF. But before you head over to buy it, here's your chance to win a copy free of charge...


A DMBooks Giveaway

Interested in winning a signed copy of Debbie Young's new book, "Coping With Type 1 Diabetes: One Family's Story of Life After Diagnosis"? Here's your chance! Entering this giveaway is as easy as leaving a comment:

1. Post your comment below and include the codeword "DMBooks" somewhere in the the text to let us know that you'd like to be entered in the giveaway.

2. You have until Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, at 5pm PST to enter. A valid email address is required to win.

3. The winner will be chosen using Random.org.

4. The winner will be announced on Facebook and Twitter on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, so make sure you're following us! We'll update this post with the winner's name once chosen.

Good luck to all!



This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Jenna, who was chosen as winner of this giveaway.

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