I ride again this year for my hero Joseph, and for all those who bravely fight this horrible disease.
Shortly after he turned 5, Joseph was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that caused his immune system to destroy his insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells and led to type 1 (insulin-dependent or juvenile) diabetes. To stay alive, Joseph will have to keep constantly testing his blood glucose levels, carefully monitor his diet and exercise, and take up to 8 daily injections of insulin for the rest of his life. In the nearly 9 years since his diagnosis, he has endured more than 20,000 fingerpricks, and more than 19,000 insulin injections. His glucose levels need to be checked while he goes to school, sleeps and plays.
Taking insulin does not cure diabetes nor prevent its eventual and devastating effects. Joseph will need to deal with this illness every day of his life, until a cure is found. And that is why I am asking for your help. It is our family’s mission, and JDRF’s, to avoid the heart and kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and early death that is a reality for people with juvenile diabetes.
Joseph is a great student, successful athlete, cool brother to Emily and Thomas, and wonderful son for Kelly and me. He continually amazes us and is a blessing to have in our lives as a daily reminder of bravery, humility, spirit and positive attitude. Emily and Thomas always lend him their love and support. It helps us see anew each day what a blessed little family we are to have each other, and to have each of you.
There are many devastating diseases in the world right now, and that saddens us. With juvenile diabetes, the potential to wipe it out of existence is within our reach. Joseph often asks when his diabetes will go away, and we feel confident a positive answer will be available soon.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is the #1 non-profit funder of diabetes research worldwide. One of JDRF’s largest fundraising events is the 105 mile “Ride to Cure Diabetes”. This year the Ride will be in Tuscon, Arizona on November 22.
There are two ways you can help us make a difference for Joseph, and for others who fight type 1 diabetes: you can join our team, collect pledges, and ride with us; or you can send a tax deductible donation, made payable to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and contact others in your circle of friends and family to donate as well.
One day this disease will be cured, and everyone who rides or volunteers or donates or says a prayer will be part of that cure. Thank you for helping our family, and for your continued encouragement and support.
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Mr. Daniel Joseph White
Mrs. Vivian Zini