I spent the last 4 days volunteering at HawaiiCon and it was absolutely amazing. There was cosplay (cosplay is NOT consent), science panels, a gaming room, vendors, and lots of stars in SciFi-related entertainment. The attendees and volunteers all work together to bring Aloha to a Con, and it works so well.
On Saturday, I worked the silent auction table which meant that I watched the people who were checking out the available items, and set them up with a bid number and got their contact information. A dad and his sundress-clad daughter approached me so Dad could get signed up. While talking with him, I kept glancing at the little girl to identify what I thought I saw, and finally broke down to apologize for staring and asked her directly, “I’m so sorry if I’ve been rude, but are you wearing a glucose monitor and pump?” Yep, she sure was. This 7-ish year old girl had medical grade bubble bandages on each tricep, with a bright orange rim around the bubble containing a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump. I told her I was very impressed, and that I had tried to wear a CGM but it hurt too much and was weird. She just smiled at me while Dad and I talked a bit about diabetes.
I wish that I had taken the time to tell her that – of all the fictional superheroes represented in that room – she was my superhero. To so fearlessly and visibly wears the markers of this disease is tough for an adult; to do so as a child is even harder when kids can be mean. Hopefully, at her age, the kids are curious or used to her. People, like me, are going to stare, point and whisper, or maybe ask questions. She is a walking example of diabetes care, and I adore her for it. I want to be her when I grow up some more.