Emma Sabourin was a first grader at St. Philomena School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on December 1, 2014.
In the few months before her diagnosis, her family had noticed increased weight loss and an unquenchable thirst that had her waking in the middle of the night attempting to drink the water and air out of multiple water bottles. A quick trip to the pediatrician, followed by a late-night call ordering Emma to the hospital, resulted in a whirlwind three days of diabetes education. Along with her family and her Joslin care team, Emma began her journey of the day to day management of her blood sugars. A bundle of energy, Emma is recognized at St. Philomena School for her outgoing personality and eagerness to be a teacher when she gets older. When at home, she helps with cooking, gardening and any opportunity she gets, she is in or on the water swimming, boating or fishing!
Both of Emma’s sisters, Katie and Sarah, learned how to recognize her blood glucose highs and lows following her diagnosis in 2014. Fast-forward to the spring of 2016, Sarah began to lose a lot of weight. During a play performance, she complained of being very light-headed, with general malaise, and she could not stop drinking water. A quick trip the next day to the pediatrician resulted in another late-night call and the order to go to the hospital. The entire way to the hospital, mom chanted “We’ve got this!” and on May 10, 2016, Sarah also received the official diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Being older than her sister was when she was diagnosed, Sarah understood what was happening, but she mourned the loss of her “normal” way of eating, doing sports and interacting with her friends. Nevertheless, she came to grips with it and now in the eighth grade at St. Philomena School, Sarah is involved in soccer, basketball and lacrosse, and is a pre-school “Big Buddy.” She loves gardening, paddle boarding, swimming and any fixer-upper show she can watch on television.
The team at Joslin has given them not only amazing medical care, but also the strength to wake up each day saying "We've got this!"
Having been raised on the St. George’s Boarding School campus in Rhode Island, Sarah knows how important community is to her family. Along with Katie, Emma and St. George’s School, Sarah helped organize a Dragon Dash Color Run to benefit Joslin Diabetes Center. Sarah and Emma, along with their mom, made announcements about diabetes during assembly and invited everyone on Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island to participate in the Dragon Dash. St. George’s School even posted an article about the girls’ daily management of diabetes on all of their social media! As a result, people are STILL approaching the girls and sharing their own personal stories about diabetes management.