What is your blood sugar? If you're lucky, you have never had to think about it! I did not have to until January 4th, 1998. As an incredibly fit 23 year old, I learned that my blood sugar was 721. My only luck that day was I avoided going into a coma. A normal blood sugar is 60-120 mg/dl. My pancreas had stopped working. Although my pancreas stopped, I will not!
I am not alone. 35 million patients worldwide are affected with Type 1 Diabetes, commonly referred to as Juvenile Diabetes. It is a non-preventable, chronic disease. Nobody really understands why Type 1 Diabetes occurs.
After spending a week in the hospital, being stabbed day and night to monitor my blood sugar and learning how to give myself a shot....for the first time, I left scared, confused, and devastated. I then educated myself with every book I could find. I learned the effects of high blood sugar, and low blood sugar, and everything in between.
Diabetes does create challenges. One of those challenges is hypoglycemia, or extremely low blood sugar. The cause is typically the result of injecting too much insulin to offset a meal, or variables like stress and sleep that effect the way your body metabolizes insulin. Hypoglycemia's symptoms include shaking, sweating, confusion, and difficulty speaking. In more severe cases headhaches and complete loss of motor skills, unconsciousness or seizures. It's a daily risk that can affect simple things like driving a car, climbing a ladder at work, or simply getting myself the sugar I need to alleviate the symptoms.
After 15 years of dealing with this disease...I'd like another pancreas so I'll need your help.
Three Years ago I participated in my first JDRF ride. Pedaling through Vermont's scenic Green Mountains was challenging, but pricking my finger 8-10 times a day hurts more than saddle sores or swallowing a June-bug at dusk while training for my 105 mile challenge.
Did you know?
T1D is an autoimmune disease that comes on suddenly and strikes both children and adults at any age?
T1D has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle?
Those living with T1D must carefully balance insulin doses with eating and daily activities throughout the day and night?
Those living with T1D must test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood 6 or more times a day?
As the proud father of a 17 month old daughter named Piper; I want to be around to watch her reach many meaningful milestones in life. The best way to do that is to continue to care for myself and help JDRF continue their research. As the leader of the type 1 diabetes community, JDRF unifies global efforts to cure, treat and prevent T1D. JDRF will not rest until TD is fully conquered and neither will I. Please help me and the JDRF reach our goal and get us closer to a cure!!
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Mr. Taylor Christie
Ms. Pat Rosier