My name is AJ Shaffer and I am five years old. My favorite thing to do is build Star Wars Legos. I also like to swim, ride my bike and play with my friends. I will be starting kindergarten this year. It is a new adventure for me and I am very excited. I love meeting new people and learning new things.
When I was two years old, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. My body was not working properly and it was making me sick. For some reason my body turned on itself and destroyed all of the insulin producing cells in my body. I had to go to the hospital and my mom and dad had to learn how to take care of me. It was scary. I had to get lots of shots and they had to prick my fingers to check my blood sugar. I had to learn to be brave and strong. Life changed for me and my family that day.
Diabetes is tricky. It is difficult to keep my blood sugar in range. I am high and low a lot. High blood sugars can cause damage to my body over time. Low blood sugars are very dangerous too. If my blood sugar drops too low I could have a seizure. If I am low, I need juice or quick acting sugar to help me get back on track. I feel very bad when I am low. I wear an insulin pump now. It is a little machine that delivers insulin into my body through a tube. I have to have the site for my pump changed every three days. My parents monitor my blood sugar by pricking my fingertips, every two to three hours. I am learning how to prick my own fingertips now, too. We also have to keep track of everything I eat. All of my carbohydrates need to be counted, so my food needs to be measured, weighed and calculated. Diabetes is time consuming. There are lots of extra steps I have to take each day to keep me healthy. It is not something that I can forget about…It is 24/7.
Thankfully, I have a huge support system. I have a walk team called AJ’s Crew for the Cure. We walk for JDRF to help raise funding for better treatments and a cure for diabetes. There are lots of people who support me every year. My team keeps getting bigger every year and I am so happy that so many people care about me and want to help me find my cure. I would love for you to be a part of my team. Please will you help me to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes!
We can cure it…Yes we can!!!!!!
AJ's Crew for the Cure
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Dan, Julie, Jessica, Rachel, and AJ Shaffer
Darl & Kathy
Jack, Charlie, & Alyssa
Mary Lou Pahl
Matching Gift for Denise Childress
Meg Pardee Knowlson
Ms. Melanie H O Hara
Ms. Rosalin M Shaffer Gears
Tyler & Emma Brown's Lemonade Stand