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About Us

Waltzing the Dragon is created and operated by Michelle MacPhee, D-Mom, MS (Psychology).

I am the proud mom of two school-aged children: a loving, contemplative son who has Type 1 Diabetes and a younger, sweet, adventuresome daughter who does not. My husband, Dean, would agree that both kids bring joy (and sometimes I-am-on-my-very-last-nerve-ness!) into our lives every day. Our son was diagnosed in 2008 at the age of 14 months (at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary); he received his insulin by injection for the first two years, then soon after his 3rd birthday we switched to insulin pump therapy (in May, 2010). Max got his first Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system in 2011 at the age of 4.

Despite the “ups and downs” (and there are plenty!), we feel blessed that our son is healthy, happy - despite diabetes. My game-plan as a “diabetes parent” is to gather information and network with other diabetes families, so that I can do my best to provide care and support to my son, now and in the years to come. As I write this (2017) my daughter is now 8 years old, and my T1D son is 10 years old. Life is good!

My professional life before diabetes largely revolved around children and family functioning. Holding a Masters degree in Applied Psychology with a major in Applied Behavioural Analysis, I previously worked with children with autism and their families in home-based social-educational programs. In that capacity, I learned invaluable lessons from the many parents and children I met along the way, lessons which I bring forward to equip families (including my own) for the dance.

My goal for Waltzing the Dragon is to provide other families with the facts needed to make informed decisions regarding what’s best for their children, as well as offer some suggestions on how both parents and children can learn to cope, emotionally and physically, with this diabetes dragon. Through this website, I'm pleased to be able to share my family's experiences living with diabetes.

More about Michelle's family's journey with the diabetes dragon here.

What is the goal of WaltzingTheDragon.ca?

: To educate, equip and encourage families dealing with type 1 diabetes by providing information that is current, comprehensive, evidence-based, and practical... until there’s a cure.

Waltzing the Dragon's History:

WaltzingTheDragon.ca was co-founded in 2011 by two parents of children with type 1 diabetes from Alberta, Canada: Danielle Krause (a former Registered Nurse, and a mother of three teens at the time, including a son who has had type 1 diabetes since 2001) and Michelle MacPhee (a mom of two then-preschoolers: a son who has had type 1 diabetes since 2008, and a daughter).


In 2016, Danielle left Waltzing the Dragon in order to pursue a career in health coaching. Michelle decided to forge ahead on the path they had created together five years earlier, bringing to the D-community in Canada and beyond, the highlights of what she learns from others living with diabetes.

Why was WaltzingTheDragon.ca created?

In the beginning of our journey with diabetes, as we each pursued further research into how to best manage the diabetes dragon that had entered our families’ lives, we became overwhelmed with the amount of information "out there". We encountered dozens of books and articles and websites and blogs and newsletters and organizations, each sharing a different piece of the puzzle.

We wondered: is that information out-dated? What information is relevant for type 1 (vs. type 2) diabetes? What information can we trust?

We day-dreamed: wouldn't it be great if there was ONE place we could go for a condensed but comprehensive view of type 1 diabetes, with information to help us live through the day-to-day challenges?

We wanted to create an ever-evolving resource to share the information we had learned (and continue to learn) through our experiences, from other parents and members of the T1D community, from the professionals we encountered – the information that has made a difference in our lives. Waltzing the Dragon was born as a result.

Why the name, Waltzing The Dragon?

Anyone whose life has been affected by diabetes will recognize the dragon: diabetes can be fearsome and overwhelmingly large; it can scorch us when it breathes its characteristic fire; we would love to ride in on a sturdy steed and slay the dragon so that our children, our families, don’t have to live with this troublesome beast. And yet what we sometimes fail to recognize is that, even though we cannot slay the dragon (there is not yet a cure for type 1 diabetes), it is tameable. We cannot tame it by burying our head in the sand and pretending it does not exist. We cannot tame it by screaming and yelling and stomping our feet and rebelling against it. Instead we need to learn to interact positively with it, to take control calmly and confidently... to dance with it.

A “waltz” is defined as a smooth dance, with continuous turns and a characteristic rise and fall. (Sound familiar?) Sometimes it feels like the diabetes dance is never-ending: we have to keep on moving, keep checking blood glucose (through the day and through the night), keep counting carbs, keep learning more and analyzing numbers and watching and keeping our kids safe. WaltzingTheDragon.ca strives to make the dance a little easier by sharing with you the science of effective diabetes care, as well as the art that makes one truly successful. 

I hope that the information on this website helps all of us focus less on the dragon and more on life!


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