Hello parents of children with diabetes, My name is Ray Shapiro. I am a Type 1 diabetic and photographer. I was 8 years old when I found out I had diabetes. Forty years later I still remember my first night at the hospital alone and scared. There were all these new things I had to learn and do. There were the shots, the urine tests (yes, this was before glucose meters) and the endless worrying if my sugar was too low or high. For me, my fears didn’t end there. Right from the beginning all I ever heard and read about was how diabetes leads to blindness, amputations and other complications. As a child, teenager and even a young adult I felt there was this constant and impending doom. Now that I’m 48 I want to show young kids with diabetes that they don’t have to be scared. I want to show that they should celebrate life and live it to its fullest. This is where you can help. I am working on a photo documentary on children and teenagers living with diabetes. I want other children as well as their parents to see that life with diabetes is not the end, but the beginning of a road that is worth living to the fullest and will go on for many years to come. Yet I don’t want to sugarcoat (pun intended) that there is a certain amount of responsibility that goes along with living with diabetes. The responsibilities will also be documented, as will the good days and bad. What I am looking for are parents that will allow me to document as much as possible their children growing up with diabetes. I am looking to document their doctor visits, injections, glucose tests (day and night) and more. I am especially looking for newly diagnosed children, but will work with anyone interested. I also want to document positive things in their lives even if it is as simple as going out to play with the other kids in the neighborhood. You may ask what’s in it for you? I am hoping that you will see me as a source for you and your child. I can help you the parent better understand what your child is going through, what they are thinking and feeling. For your child, I can help them see that having diabetes is not the end of the world, that they can live a long and healthy life. I hope you will embrace this opportunity to put diabetes in the proper light for children and their parents. As this project is self-funded I am looking for families in the Southern California area. That being said, I am willing to travel if need be. If you are interested in helping with this project, please call me at 310-877-7137 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can discuss in more detail how this can work for everyone involved. I look forward to hearing from you.