Saturday, October 3, 2015


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Tears streamed down my face as I looked out into the field and saw them shivering as the strong winds whipped around them. My heart ached and broke as I saw the condition of each player and yet, there was a shout of encouragement, pushing one another, in the midst of the storm. Countless times I went up to my son and yelled out at him, "I want to take you home!" He'd look at me with his serious look, shivering, and said, "Mom, I'm staying til the end." Turning his face back away he called on his teammates to create a huddle, not around himself, but around one of the players shivering, as he says, more than him. He danced, he jumped and he cried out, but he refused to go. "Mom, we stay together until it's over."

His name to go in was not called in the first part of the game. "Why are we even here, Lord?" I questioned my own sanity at giving in to being here. I'd given him Tylenol for a fever that was starting just before the game. Instead of being home like every other normal family, here we were, out in the open field, trying to stand still as the rains kept hitting upon us mercilessly. "Lord, have I failed you tonight? Have I failed as the mom you created me to be? Forgive me." I cried out alone in that field as I saw it open up it's mouth to beg for more rain. 

I looked out into the sky and the winds seemed to create swirls that danced around the lights for a moment, but then they returned to angry darts of water, as if angry and saying, "How dare you be out here in my parade? Don't you know I am the storm, the hurricane, the mighty wind?" And so, as the winds got stronger, I allowed my heart to cry out to the Lord. After all, I was alone and no one could see me. So, I stood near the boys and decided to join them. Yes, I too, would stand with my brothers.

The game ended and my soul felt nothing but sadness. The few parents present were disappointed that we lost. I didn't care that we lost. I worried of the oncoming physical trauma that would begin now that we could go home. My son took about a half hour in the car just to be able to remove his wet clothes off of his body. "I can't feel my hands or my feet." he cried. Why had I allowed this? It was then I spoke. "I'm not doing this ever again. I don't care if you hate me but I will not allow you to ever play under this kind of weather ever again." And then, through the pain, through the feeling of burning skin as he described it and through rattling teeth he, my son, responded.

"But they are my brothers. I have to be there for them. I have to, mom."
"How can you say that? You are brothers out in the field but afterwards, you are back to your real life and they go to theirs."
"No, mom. We all say the same thing. We have to stay together and help one another no matter what. You can't tell me not to be there for them because you didn't see what I had to do." (He thinks I didn't see, so I let him tell me.) "Mom, I saw them shivering and I told the guys, let's make a huddle around him so we can keep him warm. Then I said, let's move like this to keep warm. And then, when he fell I couldn't leave him on the floor. I had to help him, Mom. I wish I could have done more."

The boy on the floor is one of my son's best friend. Walking to the parking lot he fell on the floor experiencing strong cramps. Jacob dropped his own bag, barely able to walk, reached out his hand to his friend on the floor and turned his body around to help his friend place himself on him and get up slowly. Then, he grabbed him and put him on his side, helping him walk, almost carrying him. A few moments later one of the coaches saw them and he came, released my son's grip, and took the player into his arms and carried him off quickly towards the bus. 

I don't think anyone realized just how my son was feeling and still he placed his friend first. Thank you for my son's heart, Lord.  My heart reached out to him. God sees, Jacob. God sees. 
The one who was hurt, who was hurting and feeling sick, not once took the time to look at his situation, his hurt or his needs. He only and continuously only saw the needs of his brothers. In the car all he said was, "If I am feeling like this, I wonder how this one or that one is." And we prayed, he prayed for them in his own way.

What do I take to heart from this? Well, I am not sure what you have inferred. Maybe that I stink as a mom for letting him play in the storm. But I'll tell you what I got from this. A lesson.

How many of us will hide from the storm? Many parents refused to be out in the field with their sons because the storm was upon them, fiercely. But, they had jackets on!!! Some people just take care of their own, but some people see the needs in others. One of the moms had an extra raincoat and got it for me and I was able to put it over the raincoat I had. I can tell you that I had four layers on and the water went through everything. I chose to be out in the field with my warrior son. I had to .

I learned through my son's speech that family has to stay together through the storms. Yes. The storm comes to flood the area so that we have to evacuate. The storm comes to cut through with sharp razors of raindrops hitting at your face, but while your brother is out in the field fighting to defend their side, you have to remain vigilant and ready for when your name is called to go in and continue the fight to claim your side. The storm leaves you in the dark, but there is always a light that shines through to keep you walking through. There's enough light to see what is going on and you can focus on the battle, your strategy plan and know your next move.

I learned from my son that family is not just during the game, but yes, indeed, even off the field as he says. Not, that I didn't see it that way before, it's just last night, I could understand him wanting to return with his team on the bus just because he wanted to be with them as they encouraged one another going home. I learned that his faith in God is stronger than I imagined. I learned that he is more fearless than I thought and he will draw strength from an unknown reserve and do for others before doing for himself.

And, I believe, this is what the Lord wants to see in us, his children, his family. Will I leave it all, the comfort of my warm bed and home and go out, tired and sick into the midst of the storm where there is nothing stopping the winds or the rain, just to make sure that my brother is ok?

Will I stay in the storm as it increases so that I can protect and stand with my brother as he endures, battles, fights, and makes it through- or will I run for cover and watch him fight and struggle from the sidelines or my shelter? 

Will I use my strength to cheer him on and encourage him? Will I pray and trust God as we wait it out, drenched in the rain, shivering, hurting- will I stay as the storm keeps coming down- on my brother?

Lord, help me to be there for my brother and my sister. Help me to stand with them even when it's hard and uncomfortable. Help me to be strong and the hands around my family and friends when they need me the most. Guide me and help me to be like my son, Jacob, to see the needs and to have heart that will not move until my brother is safe, my brother is ok, and my brother has been taken care of.

#queensfalconsny #queensfalconsfootball #jacobsfaith #mybrotherskeeper #family #togetherthroughthestorm
#queenfalcons #fearless #angieduran #diabetes #diabeticfootballplayer #prayer #courage

Thursday, October 1, 2015


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Many, if not most, Type 1 Diabetics, can count their Medtronic or other name insulin pump as a blessing. Although it may not be fashionably comfortable, it is a great instrument to own and make a part of your lifestyle in order to better manage and control Type 1 Diabetes. But, if you're reading this and your a T1D, you already know this. So, I am not here to pump up the pump but pump you, the T1D up.

I'm here to tell you that I know that although what you have to go through each day is not easy, you still get up daily to go to work, to take care of your family and your home and you get up to go to school. I want to say that you are awesome, you are strong and amazing! There is no one like you. You are one of a kind. 

I want to say that I know at times you want to stay in bed, or not have to deal with the beeping of the pump when it is yelling at you to get up and check it. I know there are times you get upset when it comes off only minutes after you put it on and now you have to put it on, again. I know your fingers at times are hurting and you wish you could be like everyone else. 

But, I want to share something my son, 13 years old, said a few years ago. He said, "Mom, I thank God I have T1D." I was like, "WHAT????!!!!!" And he was like, "Yes, mom, without this maybe I would not care about what I eat and I would not want to be in sports. Having diabetes makes me see life as a challenge and I want to do the hard things." 

My ears couldn't believe these words, but then again, I knew that God's word of life and faith planted in his life from the beginning were helping him believe and understand that his purpose and destiny are still powerful and possible, regardless of what this life throws at him.

Are there times he has spoken differently? Absolutely. These have been hard times when I've gone before God and prayed for wisdom and guidance with a broken heart for my son and my brothers. Then I remember that I can either hold on to the hurtful words he shares or I can pump him up in the Lord and love on him will all my might.

I remind him and I remind you that you are so valuable in the eyes of the Lord. Your life has such great purpose. Don't give up and get tired of walking this road. Keep the pump at your side to keep you going but grab hold of God's Word and let it keep you pumped up with all those awesome promises in there for you.

Yes, you and my son have a pump and at times, it can be a burden. But, oh, a burden that keeps my son alive and with me for a million more years if possible. I thank God for the persons that created it because it can make life a little easier. But, the pump is not his source of life, it is the Lord who not only gave people the gift and knowledge to create the pump, but who lives to keep my son strong and doing well, really well. 

I guess that I just wanted to send you a big hello from here and remind you to stay hopeful and don't surrender. God loves you and He can and will make the difference in your life if you believe, invite Him into your life and let Him walk with you through the highs and lows in Type 1 Diabetes and the highs and lows of this life.


Lord, strengthen, encourage and fill every life that has #T1D. I still believe you are Healer. Heal my son and every person that is holding on to you and your word. Let your presence powerfully fill the homes of every person crying out to you today. Flood their lives. Invade their space with your presence and your love. Let joy keep them strong. I pray for you to fulfill your destiny and your will in their lives, in Jesus name. Amen.

#T1D #typeonediabetes #juvenilediabetes #diabetes #diabetic #prayforhealingfordiabetes #diabeticprayer #diabeticfaith #hope #Godheals #T1DChristian


By Angeline M Duran Santiago

Talk to most people I know and you will meet with some of the most negative and fear filled people claiming to be positive and encouraging. I see leaders who speak loudly about doing the right things but they manipulate their own speeches and do things differently, using excuses to well, excuse their reason for what they had to do.

I see people who say they want to follow the rules but they will easily fall under pressure when the time comes. People are afraid of what they don't know. That's all I have to say. I see my son kept out of advancing in sports all because he's had a few highs or lows. The moment he needs to check his sugar or needs a juice, it's seen as an obstacle or a sign that he's not ready to move forward to a better place in the team. 

Don't we all get tired and need a water break? Don't we all have some kind of moment where we just need to take a minute? Then, why do we limit athletes who wholeheartedly and without reserve immerse themselves into a sport, not counting the cost or the limits placed on them by others, but pushing against the negative voices and doing twice the work just because they have to prove they have a right to be on the team like everyone else? I am convinced that fear keeps coaches from advancing team players like my son, with Type 1 Diabetes or another condition. Diabetes is not a handicap that disables a child with a passion to play. It doesn't remove their hands and legs or their heart to win.

Type 1 Diabetes has its moments where yes, a child may need to get their sugar checked, or get water, or need juice, but that doesn't mean they are disqualified for the position or unable to fulfill their duty on their team. 

No limits. No boundaries. I have taught my son that with God in our lives and our side we do not have to hold back and that we can dream big. Yes, even football. Coaches may not see it. I do. God does. God doesn't see the labels placed by men. God sees our desire to push through barriers and break down walls.

To my son, I tell you push through. I am cheering you on! Soar. You are awesome! You are great! You keep at it!

Type 1 Diabetes was not only defeated on the Cross of Jesus when he declared that by His stripes we were healed, but T1D is also defeated in our home. It is not a stop sign or a do not disturb sign in our family. It is not a place for limits or excuses. If anything, it is a challenge that is in our faces to believe God, trust God, and live life in a way that will show God can use us in our weakness, in our struggles, and in our hardships. 

There is nothing impossible for God. Encourage your child to continue in sports or the arts. Whatever your child dreams, don't allow coaches, teachers, mentors and others to try to convince them they cannot do great things in life. God says to declare, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!" So, what are you going to do about it?

Lord, we trust you to help us achieve great things in our lives. Help us to support and be a blessing to our kids as they pursue their goals and aspirations in life. Help us be parents that share faith without fear when opposition shows up. Lead us and guide us so that we in turn can do for our children and help them to stand on their own two feet, trusting in the Lord and going forward with the vision in their heart, in Jesus Name, Amen.