Often times when I mention what I do for a living (or try to, at least, because gracious, I feel like my job is nearly twice as convoluted as an Ikea assembly), the conversation circles back to online safety. Is it safe for my family, telling personal stories online and sharing our hearts with complete strangers? Is it smart, raising a daughter who is somewhat in the limelight?
And initially, I second guess my decision to share here. I re-draw my line in the sand and start censoring my words and photos and ideas until I feel safe and bubble-wrapped. But then I hear a story like this one, an unlikely tale of two boys bonding over the Internet, providing strength and hope to one another as they navigate the rocky waters of childhood Type-1 diabetes.
My e-friend Sara’s son Henry (pictured with his sister above) is a sparkplug of awesome. With hair as colorful as his personality, he steals the hearts of everyone he meets through humorous quips, incredible fashion pairings and surprisingly deep thoughts. So when he was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes, I felt my own little corner of the Internet sigh in despair.
Henry, of course, remained strong, and his mother Sara began documenting his journey on Instagram. Miles away, Maggie – mother to Angus, another boy struggling with Type-1 diabetes – was doing the same. The two mothers were introduced through a common friend and began supporting each other, trading tips and tricks of the trade. But it didn’t end there.
When Maggie mentioned to Sara that Angus was kicking, screaming and refusing to have his blood sugar taken, Henry and Sara took matters into their own hands. Henry sent this video, sharing an impromptu blood sugar tutorial with Angus. And a friendship was born.
To date, the boys have sent over 50 encouraging, funny and inspired videos and photos back and forth to one another (marked by #henryandangus) – highlighting the good, the bad and the real. And in the process, an otherwise isolating condition has sparked – in their mothers’ words – an oddly bizarre connection.
The pair are meeting in real life this weekend for a big surprise, and I can only imagine where this surprising relationship might take them, their families and everyone who loves them dear. Proof that perhaps the Internet is little more than what we make of it, from blood sugar to best friends and everything between.
p.s. Henry and Angus are teaming up for the 32nd Annual Nordstrom Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes. Info here!twitter, facebook, pinterest, stumble