About the Vacchios
The Sidetracked Parent is a site that started simply as a blog called "Babies with Diabetes" back in November 2009. Dan and I were blessed with a son in April 2005 but were almost immediately thrown into an unknown world of rare disease when he was diagnosed with idiopathic Type 1 Diabetes at 18 weeks old. In December 2006, Andy's DNA was sent off for genetic testing and his diagnosis was changed to Neonatal Diabetes. In August 2009, Katie arrived and was diagnosed as well, even though, statistically, it should not have happened twice.
I started the blog as a way to process our journey and update friends and family who were far away. As the children grew up and were no longer "babies", the blog took on a new vision and changed its name to "Adventures in KAndylaND" (with the K & A standing for Katie and Andy, and the ND at the end standing for Neonatal Diabetes). The blog continues to be a therapeutic release as well as a support for new families as they find out their own diagnosis and join our small Neonatal Diabetes family.
As we started meeting more families around the United States and the world, we came to realize that there was a greater need for more support and research for the children and patients who have DEND syndrome as well as those with Neonatal Diabetes who are still fighting for a genetic diagnosis or a better treatment. After designing a special awareness ribbon with my mom, I made the design available on some t-shirts as part of a fundraiser back in 2018. When that fundraiser was relatively successful, it spurred me on to start this Shopify store and start selling my own designs. It started with just the Neonatal and Monogenic Diabetes shirts but has now expanded to include all rare diseases.
Our family now lives in Colorado where the children are settling into their routines. They are both teenagers and we hope to make more resources available to the rare disease community as we have time to add them. We welcome you to our family and hope we can help you navigate your own rare disease parenting journey
Christy, Dan, Andy, and Katie (as well as Mel the cat and Buddy the dog)