When a young child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it becomes a huge lifestyle adjustment for the entire family.
And when that family is a military family, even more stress is added to the equation.
8-year-old Claire Joffrion changes the pod that delivers insulin to her body every three days. "Sometimes when I change my pod and sensor it really hurts but sometimes it just feels like a little pinch," Joffrion said.
Since being diagnosed with the disease just before her third birthday, Claire has gone through a lot.
"This is a girl who used to not like having lotion put on her body and now she had shots and finger pokes and hospital stay," said mother, Melissa.
Melissa and Justin Joffrion have learned to manage Claire's condition, thanks, in part, to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's help.
JDRF gives newly diagnosed children a "bag of hope" that includes a diabetic stuffed animal, and provides parents with ongoing support. Each chapter also hosts an annual walk to cure diabetes.
"We were involved right away getting our walk team together," said Melissa.
"Being in the military, we’re often away from our family but this was a great event so every year we have a lot of family and friends who fly in wherever we happen to be to participate in the walk," said Justin.
As a military family, the Joffrion's move every few years, which means finding a new doctor, school and school nurse they can trust with Claire's extra needs.
"We’re moving this summer so we'll be doing all the research and figuring out which is best choice for Claire," said Melissa.
They've learned ways to navigate these additional challenges, so Melissa now serves as a mentor for JDRF to help other military families.
"Any military family that we find out has gotten bag of hope, and they're usually assigned to me, so that I have that specific thing in common with them," said Melissa.
As for Claire, she's accepted her type 1 diabetes and has this message for other kids facing the diagnosis. "It’s not all and all that bad," said Claire. "You get glucose tablets when you’re low and don’t worry, they taste good."