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Disney Cruise Line, Skittles and Diabetes Danger

This is a story about how a child could have died while vacationing on the Disney Cruise Line because he was denied Skittles.

For real.

Skittles can save lives. #t1d #disneydiabetesdisaster

Mom Jessica Crookston is calling out Disney for discriminating against her son on a recent cruise.  Jessica’s family was recently on a highly anticipated vacation on-board the Disney Wonder cruise ship.  Her 12-year-old son has type 1 diabetes and she’d taken the time to discuss his needs with the ship’s medical staff extensively before they boarded.  She was assured his needs could be met.

Type 1 diabetes is a serious autoimmune condition in which the body doesn’t produce insulin.   Insulin must be administered through pumps or injections.  Constant monitoring and correcting of blood sugar levels is required.  Monitoring blood sugar levels is a full time job for people with type 1 diabetes and for their loved ones (such as moms like Jessica).

Type 1 diabetes kills children.

Jessica wasn’t being overprotective or annoying in calling ahead to make sure the ship could handle her child’s needs.  His life depends on her diligence.

So she tells the Disney Wonder people her kiddo carries fun size Starburst and Skittles with him at all times to correct low blood sugar when needed.

Because he could DIE otherwise.

They tell her that’s no problem.  He just needs to keep them in the original packaging until ready to eat them.

So they go on the cruise and her son is so excited to go to the kid club to make slime.  She drops him off and then gets a call on the parent communication system just a few minutes later.

He can’t make slime.

Because they won’t allow him to keep his tiny sealed packet of Skittles with him.

Because someone might have a food allergy to Skittles.

Even though she’d already discussed this with the powers that be before they went on this vacation.

Even though he could DIE if his blood sugar drops while making slime and he doesn’t have access to the Skittles.

Disney, let the children have skittles! #t1d #disneydiabetesdisaster

Jessica was outraged.  Her son was embarrassed and crushed.  He’d tried to explain his disease and reason for the Skittles, but wasn’t heard.  Jessica’s requests to talk to management were ignored.

And to add insult to injury, the room steward saw someone with diabetes was in the room so left zero chocolate on the pillow at bedtime the whole cruise.  Jessica’s son heard other children talking about the chocolate and it was just one more way he felt different and left out.  (Having type 1 diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a chocolate left on your pillow during a highly anticipated Disney Cruise vacation.)

Read Jessica’s full letter to Disney here.

Want to help spread the word about type 1 diabetes and let Disney they need to become more informed?  Start by sharing this post.  Then:

By the way, Skittles is one of 8 candies recommended by Health Central to have the lowest risk of impacting someone with food allergies.

More about families living with type 1 diabetes:

A father’s view on T1D

How I Learned About Type 1 Diabetes

Caring for my child does not make me a helicopter mom

What it’s like to raise a child with T1D



Skittles love


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