‘Maggie’s Mystery’ author hopes to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes
Last year, Kimberly Munson’s then-4-year-old daughter, Kinsley, was close to death. Yet Munson didn’t know anything was wrong.
The Apple Valley resident and school teacher found it unusual that Kinsley had started wetting the bed and drinking an excessive amount of water, but didn’t think it was a matter of serious medical concern.
In fact, Kinsley was exhibiting signs of DKA, or diabetic ketoacidosis, which develops when the body can’t produce enough insulin and can be fatal.
Luckily, two family members with medical backgrounds picked up on what was going on.
“If not for the keen eyes of my mother and sister, both of whom are nurses, Kinsley would have soon died,” said Munson.
“They shared the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes with me in time for Children’s Hospital of St. Paul to diagnose the autoimmune disease and effectively save her life.”
In April, Munson released “Maggie’s Mystery,” a book geared to ages 6-9 that was inspired by Kinsley’s story.
Her aim in writing the illustrated, 70-page book was twofold: to help raise awareness about the early warning signs of Type 1 diabetes, and to provide children diagnosed with the disease with a literary character they can identify with.
“As Kinsley started kindergarten, I was sad that the childhood book characters I grew up with, like Ramona Quimby and Laura Ingalls Wilder, didn’t represent Kinsley and her childhood,” Munson said of her motivation for writing the book.
“Maggie’s Mystery” is the first in Munson’s planned series of books based around the character of Maggie. “Maggie and Melody,” tentatively planned for release later this year, will focus on the role played by siblings of kids with Type 1 diabetes.
Just as the character Maggie was inspired by Kinsley, the character Melody will draw from Kinsley’s younger sister, 3-year-old Kaitlin.
Currently, Kinsley’s condition has stabilized, Munson said. After her initial diagnosis last year — and a weeklong hospital stay — Kinsley, now 6, has been receiving a daily insulin regimen, delivered via insulin pump, which she’ll need to take for the rest of her life.
“She’s doing well now — she’s a fighter,” Munson said.