As many of you may know, my niece Aly was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, she is 12 years old. Aly is pretty much a normal 12 year old girl, she loves cheerleading and dancing, and is very active. To talk with her you would never guess she is living with a disease that could alter her life. For her, I have decided to take part in this year's JDRF Tahoe Ride to Cure Diabetes. I am asking all of my friends and family to support my efforts by making a donation to JDRF.
Forbes recently rated JDRF one of the top 5 'all star' charities for cost efficiency. They are currently funding clinical trials on an 'artificial pancreas' - essentially an implanted feedback loop of a glucose monitor and insulin pump. This invention, if successfully funded to market, will dramatically change the quality and longevity of life for diabetics. JDRF funded research has also identified several genes involved in the onset of the disease and a suspected virus as the trigger. Medical science is currently at a point to eliminate much of the hardship, if not the disease itself, during Aly’s lifetime.
Below is a poem my sister wrote describing what was going through her mind the day Aly was diagnosed, laying in a hospital bed, fighting for her life.
I will be riding for Aly again this year, in the JDRF Tahoe ride to raise money for Type 1 research. Please donate if you can.
The nurses hurry but it's not too hectic,
The doctor is asking us if it's genetic.
Do you have diabetes, either of you?
Anyone in your family take meds sub-Q?
What do you mean, what are you trying to say?
Just tell me why she's blue and grey.
And what do you mean when you say...DKA?
If she's awake by 10 tonight,
The doctor thinks she'll be alright.
But she is awake and begging for water,
Why isn't anyone helping my daughter?
Why does she need an 8 bag IV?
Tell me again, God, why her and not me?
The second hand moves but times just drags,
Do I want dinner? No, I'm sure I'll gag.
A shower, you think, I should take???
It's after 10, why isn't she awake?
Her brain could be swelling, get the doctor, now go!
He said 10 pm, it's 10:42, and I need to know.
Get the doctor in here, I cannot wait,
I need to know, what is her fate?
Is he really holding her and yelling in her face?
Is this really a hospital, what is this place?
The punch she threw is really a sign?
Tell me again, you think she'll be fine?
A sign her consciousness is in there somewhere,
That's all I want God, that's my prayer.
Is this happening, is it really reality?
Or will she become your latest fatality?
Is it really the middle of the night?
I must not sleep, I must fight.
What? 6:12 am? Did I fall asleep?
Is that Aly's voice, did I hear a peep?
She's better now, in guarded condition.
Graduate ICU is now our mission.
No time to cry or assess the situation,
It's time for specialized diabetes education.
Can I really give my little girl a shot?
My knees are weak, I think not.
Each shot is calculated with complex math,
I wonder if all moms can take this path.
God gave me back my baby girl,
I'll learn the diabetes...who am I kidding, I'm gonna hurl.
No you're not, pay attention!
And by the way, did I mention?
Don't screw up the dose or it's all for naught,
Get it right, give the shot.
We must learn to check blood glucose about every third hour,
In time, we will learn the magic of insulin and its power,
6 years have flown by and look at her go,
If you didnt know us, you'd never know.
She loves volleyball and dance and track,
Thank you God, we haven't cracked.
Diabetes can be treated but 1 thing is for sure,
All of its victims really need a cure.
Mom of Aly, diagnosed 2-23-08
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