Children's Emergency Department is now located in Children's Tower: 1001 E. Marshall Street.

Learn more
View alerts close
January Calendar Kids: New best friends, undaunted by diabetes
January 24, 2024
CHoR patients Chloe and Izzy dressed as fairies

    Isabel Butler and Chloe Prince are energetic, friendly and love to sing. They were brought together by another mutual trait – type 1 diabetes.

    Diabetes diagnoses and the friendship that followed

    CHoR patient Isabel smiling outside with her face paintedIsabel was diagnosed in August 2020, when she was only 3, during a visit to the emergency department. Chloe’s diagnosis came in October 2021 after her mom contacted her primary care doctor with concerns about frequent urination. Both were referred to our Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and see Dr. Sarah Hensley for their ongoing diabetes care.

    It wasn’t until this past summer, though, that the girls met at CHoR’s Camp WannaCure, a weeklong day camp for kids with diabetes. In addition to education and help building diabetes self-management skills, the camp includes typical fun camp activities and opportunities to meet other kids facing similar health journeys.

    “Based on age and gender, Isabel and Chloe were placed in the same small group at camp and bonded quickly. They accompanied each other to the nursing team daily and performed all diabetes tasks as a team,” said Alisha Reynolds, nurse navigator on the endocrinology team. “They made friendship bracelets to exchange and were inseparable the entire week.”

    Navigating diabetes and enjoying childhood together

    CHoR patient Chloe smiling outside and flexing her muscles“Having someone else who truly understands what the other one is going through, without having to explain it, is priceless. Diabetes is constant and always on your mind. Everything affects your blood sugar, and you constantly have to think about what you are doing now and what you want to do later that day and how that could affect the insulin dose needed,” said Dr. Hensley. “It has already benefited them too. Isabel was nervous to start on an insulin pump. When she saw Chloe wearing one and learned more about it, she jumped in and started on the pump. Her diabetes has been much easier to control since then.” 

    Being slightly older, Chloe has taken on big-sister-like roles in other ways too.

    “Chloe’s friendship means so much to her,” said Nancy Butler of her daughter, Isabel. “I think just spending time with someone who has this struggle in common is so comforting. Listening to Chloe talk about all the activities she does despite her diagnosis has encouraged Isabel to try new things.”

    Chloe plays basketball and softball, runs AAU track, cheers, sings in the church choir and loves working with her dad on his race car. Her dad even has the type 1 ribbon with Chloe’s name on the hood of his car, which she loves. Isabel will start playing soccer in the spring. She also adores her little brother, and loves all things rainbow and unicorn.

    Living with diabetes is an ever-evolving situation.

    “The major challenges they face are changes in insulin requirements as they continue to grow and mature. Later on in adolescence we’ll tackle the transition to being more hands on in their own diabetes care and tasks, which are primarily done by parents, school nurses and other adults now,” said Dr. Hensley. “This responsibility can add stress and frustration to an already challenging time when teens push for more independence. We will work on that along the way and let their independence slowly increase over time to ensure it’s not a quick switch.”

    A team effort toward support, encouragement and care

    Dr. Hensley is thoroughly enjoying helping the girls and their families each step of the way.

    “Isabel has never been shy. She’s the first one to tell me when something is bothering her, going well, or if she has any questions. I would call her feisty in the best way possible. Chloe is the quieter one of the two in clinic visits, but I saw a whole new side to her last summer at diabetes camp. She is outgoing, caring, friendly and a goof. I no longer call her quiet,” added Dr. Hensley of her patients. “I love how they are both so full of life. They have the MOST supportive families, which is a godsend. The support and encouragement their parents provide helps these girls thrive. There is nothing they cannot do or achieve. They don't let diabetes define them or the things they want to do. I am so lucky to care for both of them.”

    Helping these resilient, brave and bright friends stay at the top of their game is a team effort.

    “Dr. Hensley has been nothing short of amazing. We truly appreciate her,” said Chloe’s mom, Tonya.

    The saying goes that every cloud has a silver lining, which has certainly been the case with Isabel and Chloe.

    “Camp WannaCure provided a safe space for these two girls to come together and simply be children while managing their illness. As scary as a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes may be, Isabel and Chloe have found lasting friendship because of their shared illness,” said nurse Alisha when nominating them to be featured in the 2024 CHoR calendar.

    For more information about camp WannaCure, please reach out to Suzanne Bona at

    Keep up with the latest CHoR news and meet our other 2024 CHoR calendar kids throughout the year on our blog.

    Subscribe to our blog

    Sign Up