Welcome to my JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes Page!
For 23 years, type 1 diabetes has been a part of my life. It all started when my 13 yr old younger sister was diagnosed. It wasn't long after until my uncle Darrell was diagnosed. And then, my uncle Jim. Both were in their 30s (part of the reason they've been calling it type 1 now instead of the former name, "juvenile diabetes" - it can be diagnosed in adults as well as children). It was a bit of a challenge for us to have a very close knit family and watch THREE of them struggle with managing their type 1 diabetes day in and day out. As if that wasn't enough... my own child was then diagnosed in 2004. She was only 7.
You see.... T1D strikes both children and adults suddenly and is unrelated to diet and lifestyle. It 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. In fact, insulin is required to stay alive. T1D requires constant carbohydrate counting, blood-glucose testing, and lifelong dependence on injected insulin (either via syringe or an insulin pump).
Suddenly our world was upside down as we learned a new "normal." In the first four years after diagnosis, Emilee endured 5 insulin injections per day, and had to prick her finger to do a blood glucose level check no fewer than 10 times per day. In the fifth year of diagnosis, Emilee began using an insulin pump. Granted the pump was better for her than enduring multiple daily injections, it still isn't a cure. Simple colds and sore throats landed Emilee in the hospital 5 times during that first year of diagnosis, all because even the tiniest infection or slightest illness can reak havoc on blood glucose control and require medical intervention to prevent dehydration and DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis - a complication of T1D than can be fatal).
When my uncle Darrell died in 2005 (little more than a year after Emilee's diagnosis) as a result of complications of T1D, I knew I had to do something more about this autoimmune disease that barges into lives unwanted, unexpected. I began volunteering with JDRF. I met with legislators, helped raise money for research for a cure, participated in and organized walk events, and mentored newly diagnosed families. In the 10 years since my daughter was diagnosed, I have met numerous families all affected by this same disease for which there is no cure. And ALL of us have the same hope, dream, desire, wish, prayer..... for T1D to be cured. After participating in numerous walks over the years, and traveling to DC each spring to meet with members of Congress to express to them the critical necessity for a cure, I decided there is still yet more that I can do to help JDRF make type one type NONE.
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. I will be the only rider on Team Kentucky from eastern Kentucky, and the only female rider. But I am ready to accept this challenge! It is the least I can do when my loved ones and friends endure so much as they live with type 1 diabetes.
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.
It's time to get to work and jump in head first to complete this personal challenge. In the coming months, I will be 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.
Mom, sister, niece to people with type 1 diabetes -
and devoted to doing all I can to advocate for a cure!
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Ardeth Stroh for Gavin
JAN JOHNSON PATTON
John Kevin Holbrook
Ti-Shen Fick (SS)