Dear JDRF Supporter,
As many of you know, I am the father of three children who live with type 1 diabetes (T1D): Sarah, Emily and Matthew. My family has lived with this disease for almost 13 years now, since Emily, age 15, was diagnosed at age 2 1/2. We have managed the daily rigors of diabetes through all phases of childhood from toddler through young adult, with Sarah, age 19, moving away to college last year. In one way you could call us “pros” at doing so, although if you spend time talking with us, you would learn that there are always surprises and the ever present weariness of managing blood sugars throughout the course of each day. The threat of long term complications is also a frightening reality, especially when the quarterly doctor visits show that the “A1c” numbers are higher than ideal for minimizing risks.
To do our part in ending this disease, our family has raised awareness and funds for JDRF with a Family Walk team name of “3Coffeys, No Sugar”. Through your generous support, our family has raised over a quarter of a million dollars since 2002! Last year, I added the JDRF Ride program to my personal fundraising efforts by participating in the bicycle Ride in Tucson, Arizona. My post-ride interview can be found on this website and on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6HTaOtjIRA&feature=player_detailpage).
This year I am proud to say that my 13 year old son, Matthew, has joined the JDRF Ride program! We have been riding together since the day after Christmas, when he got his bike. We’ve gone from 2-5 miles at a time in the Winter snow to 8-12 mile rides in the Spring to 15-22 mile excursions in the summer heat! We ride as father and son, but also with other riders on our JDRF team. Our goal is to ride the 30 mile course together in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in August. In addition, I am committed to riding my first Century (100 miles) as part of the JDRF Ride program at another venue this season. My fundraising goal is $3,000, which is part of my family’s overall annual goal of $30,000.
Please contribute generously to JDRF to ensure that research continues in order to identify a cure and move it rapidly to the marketplace. Just this year, three new JDRF-funded research programs are being moved into human clinical trials: artificial pancreas, smart insulin and encapsulation. Your donations are making a real difference in moving science forward toward a cure.
As a father, your support of JDRF is deeply meaningful to me and provides me with hope that a cure will be found and be available to change my children’s lives for the better.
Please take a moment to read Matthew’s personal story on his Ride page. I think you will find it heartfelt and inspiring. Matthew has been building mileage thanks to the encouragement of JDRF Coach Joshua Zilm who patiently works with him. http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR/Ride/JDRFNationalRides?px=2099124&pg=personal&fr_id=3428
T1D Quick Facts:
- Strikes both children and adults suddenly and is unrelated to diet and lifestyle.
- 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.
- Requires constant carbohydrate counting, blood-glucose testing, and lifelong dependence on injected insulin.