Welcome to my JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes Page!
I’m taking part in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, along with hundreds of riders from around the world, to raise money for JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.
Did you know T1D:
- Strikes both children and adults suddenly and is unrelated to diet and lifestyle.
- Occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin is essential to turning food into energy.
- Requires constant carbohydrate counting, blood-glucose testing, and lifelong dependence on injected insulin.
JDRF is working every day to change this. And every dollar I raise helps them continue to bring life-changing therapies from the lab to the community until a cure is found.
I have been hard at work training and fundraising, and your gift today will propel me toward the finish line. Please donate and help JDRF achieve its goal of a world without T1D.
Please check back to view my fundraising progress as my Ride weekend approaches. Thank you for your support.
Starting at the beginning...
Committing to ride 107 miles in November with JDRF is an exciting and daunting goal for me. I think that having these challenges and setting goals drives us to be the best that we can be, regardless of the hurdles we need to overcome.
I think back to when I was first diagnosed and remember that it felt as though my world was crashing down around me. It was only 4 years ago and I was acutely aware during that time that everything I knew about life was changing. But it hasn't all been all bad. I never would have found myself preparing to ride 107 miles in the desert if not for that scary diagnosis.
I was 31 (yes, adults are diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes, too :) I remember feeling off right around Thanksgiving. I had the classic symptoms. I began to lose weight, thirst, lethargy, peeing all of the time. At first it was annoying, but I was otherwise healthy before that so I ignored it (this is not good advice so don't do that!)
By Christmas, things had gotten so much worse. I was thirsty ALL. The. Time. I couldn't go anywhere without liters of water, which in turn made me have to use the bathroom a lot. My weight had plummeted, even though I was starving and eating all of the time. I went from 120lbs down to my lowest 89lbs. Then I woke up one morning and my vision had markedly changed. It was so blurry I couldn't see or drive. I had also developed a painful infection on my breast that scared me.
In all, T1D took about 1 month to fully settle in on me...
I finally called my mom (a retired nurse living in OR) and told her about what was going on with me. I promised to go to Urgent Care that day and she promised to hop on a plane and come see me.
At Urgent Care, I was treated for my infection (which would become a 5 month journey ending finally in surgery) and had my blood sugar tested. I was 600. The doctor came in and told me I had diabetes. I asked her if it was T1 or T2 and she said to me: "Of course it's T2, you're 31."
This gave me pause... I was skin and bones and had always been healthy before this. Plus, I was only 31... But she was the doc, right? She gave me Metformin and a box of test strips, telling me to get my BG down below 250 as she sent me on my way.
I tried. I really did. For the next week I took those pills and tested my bg... but it didn't work. I continued to lose weight, and my bg only went up. I felt like giving up.
I finally saw a doctor who recognized what was going on and scheduled a blood test to check for T1. And put me on insulin.
Oh, lovely insulin.
Living with T1 for these last 4 years hasn't been easy. The monster that is the potential complication of this disease is always looming- especially every time my bg isn't in range. I know what it is doing to my body. And that scares me. And the lows- oh how I hate those scary lows.
But this disease has also helped me to become the person I am today. I am a teacher (I love my job!!). I am more in tuned with my body. I have determination like I never had before to live my life as joyfully and fully as possible. And I am riding 107 miles to prove it to myself.
Please consider donating today towards my ride. My goal is $2000 and I can't ride without it. Your donations help JDRF to continue to not only bring innovated treatments to all of us T1's that help to make our lives more manageable, but also help JDRF as they work towards a cure.
And I know the cure is out there.
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Cherie Rahm Avassa
Christie Alexander Paxton
For Mr and Mrs Robert Ellison and Mr and Mrs Wm. I
In memory of Grandfather George Newman
Miss Devon Marie Inglee
Mrs. Angela Smith
The Noreng Family
Uncle Chris and Aunt Cheryl