For the last four years, around the clock and every.single.day, Type 1 Diabetes has kept us anxious, scared, stressed, frustrated, and annoyed, but most importantly...determined. Andrew was diagnosed on June 22, 2010, and he's now lived with Type 1 for more than half his life. He never gets a break.
Andrew is enjoying school and activities like sports and scouting just like his twin sister, Katie. He is healthy (aside from that pesky chronic disease), and even went on several cub scout camping trips this past school year. We are determined not to let Type 1 stand in his way or limit him from doing whatever he would like to do in life.
This is all possible because Andrew has all of the support and technology available to help manage his Type 1 Diabetes. He has an insulin pump, and a continuous glucose monitor that alerts to highs and lows. We have amazing support from Andrew's school, from the principal and the nurses who come to check on him, and our health tech, Miss Robby, who keeps the T1D vigil Monday through Friday. Andrew will be entering 2nd grade in the fall, but his kindergarten teacher still brings her high school cheerleaders to our JDRF Walk.
Even with all of the available technology, there is so much more work to be done to make living with T1D more manageable. Some very determined dads of kids with Type 1 (D-Dads), including Jason, have decided that they are not waiting. They are not waiting on the FDA to approve new medical devices or newer, better and faster types of insulin. Working together, the D-Dads have created the "CGM in the Cloud" that allows us to remotely monitor blood sugar via the CGM on a phone, tablet, computer and even a watch. Without question, their hard work will save lives.
Managing Type 1 Diabetes is a daily struggle that complicates our family's existence in immeasurable ways. We have to count every single carbohydrate that Andrew eats. We lose countless hours of sleep because his blood sugar must be checked up to 12 times a day, around the clock. There are pump and CGM failures and infections. We worry constantly that he should have had more (or less) insulin - the life support drug that is keeping him alive can also end his life. We try not to think too much about what lies decades down the road as far as possible complications such as blindness or limb loss from Type 1. We are determined to not let that happen.
In November, we will Walk to Cure Diabetes, and I will also ride over 100 miles on November 22nd in my 4th JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes. The JDRF is funding organizations such as Tidepool.org, which is working with all of the diabetes related device manufacturers to help us better manage diabetes using our data. We are already using one of Tidepool's open source products - Blip - to help us review Andrew's diabetes management. Two breakthrough JDRF funded projects are also just a few years away - the Artificial Pancreas and Beta Cell Encapsulation.
Type 1 Diabetes is relentless, but we are too in our efforts to make life better for Andrew and all those who live with T1. We are determined to see Type 1 turned into Type None. Every dollar raised brings us that much closer - thank you!
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