Instagram isn't exactly known as a hotbed of positivity or support -- but the moms and their sons behind the adorable "blood sugar bromance" have proved that this app can provide much more than just selfies and brunch photoshoots.
Angus and Henry, both Type 1 diabetics, were linked up through Instagram when Angus -- just four years old at the time -- was first diagnosed. The moms, Sara and Maggie, were connected via Instagram by a follower who knew their boys now shared the same devastating diagnosis. And, well, the rest was history: the "blood sugar bromance" was born.
Since then, their Instagram feeds have archived the burgeoning (and lifelong-to-be) friendship between the two families, and offered snapshots into the lives of the two Type 1 diabetics: the boys and moms trade videos, low-carb meal recipes, tips for making injections less painful and, my personal favorite, examples of pimped-out insulin pumps.
But the Type 1 Instagram love hasn't stopped with Angus, Henry, Sara and Maggie -- the intense friendship between the boys has inspired other Type 1 mothers and kids to reach out via the social media platform. It's a terrifying diagnosis for anybody, and, like many diseases, seems to draw a hypothetical line in the lives of all those that it effects: before Type 1, and after Type 1. So for kids like Angus and Henry, finding other families that fully understand life with a Type 1 diagnosis can completely change the way they deal with the disease.
For the kids involved, it's a way to not only understand their very scary diagnosis, but also to take control of it. Sara and Maggie have received notes from other moms about how their posts about the boys have inspired other Type 1 kids to give themselves shots, let their parents and doctors check their blood sugar, and explain the disease to classmates. In a world where these kids are often separated from the pack, this unique Instagram community has allowed them to form their own.
From newly-diagnosed kids and their overwhelmed mothers to Type 1 veterans in need of some extra support, Sara and Maggie find they are being tagged in more and more Instagram posts every day. Whether it's a mom struggling to navigate the steep learning curve of keeping their diabetic child alive or one fighting a daily battle over needle pokes and blood sugar checks, Sara, Maggie, Henry and Angus have been there -- and want to do everything in their power to help ease the pain passed on to other Type 1 families. Their willingness to post honest and raw snapshots of life with Type 1 -- including the literal highs and lows -- has clearly resonated with those following their feeds, and offered a proverbial "life ring" to other families drowning in the overwhelming process of learning to cope.
While the moms and their boys function as a source of hope, advice and experience for other Type 1 families, their efforts go beyond personal relationships. In fact, the families also participate in efforts to de-stigmatize and raise awareness through the Beyond Type 1 Foundation -- whose founders include Nick Jonas and Sam Talbot. Additionally, Sara works as the Beyond Type 1 Creative Director, and both Angus and Henry have been spotlighted on the foundation's Instagram and website.
It's not uncommon to see the term 'club' thrown around by the Type 1 moms communicating via Instagram -- and it certainly seems like Sara and Maggie have emerged as its presidents. It's not a group any mother wants to join, but if they have to be there? They're pretty happy to have each other.
This article was originally posted on Yes, Like The River.