Ambassador Highlight: Meet Abby

Published: January 25th, 2018

Category: CMN Ambassador Stories, For the Kids, Patient Stories

When patients are diagnosed with a chronic illness, they often become experts in their own care management and the details of their disease. Eight-year-old Abby Sapp is no exception.

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on June 13, 2013, Abby doesn’t remember life before diabetes.

CMN Ambassador Abby Sapp“It is a nonstop, unrelenting disease,” said Abby’s mom, Lacy. “Abby’s hour-to-hour life is influenced by her illness.”

Abby’s mom, Lacy, is a nurse practitioner. She had a suspicion Abby’s blood sugars were high and tested her urine for glucose the night before Abby’s official diagnosis. The next morning, Abby’s local pediatrician confirmed Lacy’s suspicions — her glucose was 477 milligrams per deciliter. A normal fasting blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL.

“We immediately came to UF Health, and fortunately Abby could be treated right away. As a parent and an ARNP, I knew our lives were forever changed,” Lacy said.

Abby wears an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor at all times. Everything she eats is accounted for. She has to calculate the number of carbohydrates she eats and then, based on her actual blood sugar and with the help of an adult, calculates the amount of insulin she needs and administers it with supervision.

She checks her blood sugar 10 to 15 times daily. Her insulin pump infusion sites are changed every two to three days, and her continuous glucose monitor changed every week. Despite the constant intrusion from managing her diabetes, Abby remains positive, responsible and “ready to educate anyone about Type 1 diabetes,” Lacy said.

Abby loves music, dance, American Girl dolls and spending time with her friends. Her favorite subjects in school are art and recess, and she wants to be a singer/songwriter when she grows up. She is a triplet, with brothers Jacob and Andy sharing the same birthday. They also have a younger sister, Avery.

UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital has been an important part of Abby’s family, even before she and her siblings were born.

“They have served our family on a number of occasions from infertility treatment, amazing care of a triplet pregnancy with high risk, a NICU stay and now Abby’s journey in pediatric endocrinology. Our son Jacob was also treated extensively by the pediatric burn unit team,” Lacy said.

UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital means the “ultimate in pediatric care in Florida” to their family.

“Our family would like to thank all of those at UF Health who have taken care of us and our children at some of the most difficult times in our lives,” Lacy said.

“We would like families with children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and other chronic illnesses to know that our heart goes out to you, and that we are fighting together to raise our children to be as normal and healthy as they can be. On our hardest days, we stand faithful and grateful for life.”


Interested in learning more about our CMN Ambassador Program? Visit giving.UFHealth.org/ambassadors.


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