This website was started by Sandra J. Hollenberg, Malcolm's Grandma Sandy (not a health care professional). Malcolm was diagnosed in 1996 when he was 2 years old. It was particularly difficult to Sandra because she was an out-of-town Grandma, and unable to give him or her daughter hands-on help. Needing to do something, she became a fundraiser and an advocate for diabetes research and education.
Then, when Malcolm was 4 and started on an insulin pump she wrote a book for him, A Special Kind Of Pump. My Own Type 1 Diabetes Book followed a year later. That book and My Own Book About Pumping were so well received by the medical community that she wanted to make them available to others.
My Own Type 1 Diabetes Book was available for free downloading on the JDRF Canada website until it was published. LifeScan Canada bought the book for their 'youth pack'. That was a thrill! Also, it was very gratifying to get orders from prestigious institutions, such as The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia-Presbyterian and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University.
A few years ago Children's Hospitals of Wisconsin bought her remaining books. She decided not to republish and now the books are only available by downloading and printing on this website.
The GAMES and ACTIVITIES are a fun way to learn about diabetes but diabetes is not needed to enjoy them! Many of the games were first created for Malcolm and redesigned so they could be freely copied and shared on the internet. Now that he is a young adult the games are for you, who are visiting this web site.
In January 2014, Sandy donated GrandmaSandy and all the books and games on the site to Diabetes Hands Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to making sure nobody touched by diabetes ever feels alone. Here is a conversation we had with Sandy around this announcement:
Since this website opened in 2001 Grandma Sandy's work has been copied, translated and used both by families and organizations throughout the world. We hope you too will find this material helpful. Please share the games and books with members of your playgroup, relatives, friends and schoolmates. If you can help with translations please don't hesitate to contact us.