On September 9th, 2010 Nathan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He was only 5 at the time and he handled the diagnosis like a champ. He is by far the bravest person we know. Unfortunately, Nathan has had to grow up very fast because of Type 1 diabetes and it has certainly changed life for all of us. Type 1 diabetes is a life-threatening autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin. It cannot be prevented and there is no cure. It has been a major struggle to learn how to manage his illness and cope with the fact that we will be doing this forever (or at least until there is a cure). There are so many things to remember and so many potential complications. If Nathan suffers from a major low blood sugar, he could have a seizure and lose consciousness. On the other hand, the long-term complications of high blood sugars can also be life-threatening. Unless you have diabetes or have a child with diabetes, it is very hard to grasp what our day to day life is like and the very real dangers Nathan faces. We have to give Nathan a finger poke to check his blood sugar about 10 times EVERY day. He has to get his infusion site for his insulin pump changed every 2 to 3 days. He has to visit his pediatric endocrinologist every 3 months for blood work and a check-up and to do major blood work every year. His diabetes never gives us a break; it is always “there.” He does his best to be a “normal” 8 year old boy and not to let diabetes get in his way, but the truth is he cannot play sports, swim, enjoy birthday parties, or any of the other things children should be able to without major planning. A simple day out requires packing all his supplies and preparing for all scenarios. We must make sure we have enough snacks for treating lows. Test at certain intervals to make sure his blood sugar is not dropping. Constantly thinking how many hours it's been since he ate, when he will need carbs again so he won't go low and how much insulin to give him to cover the food he is eating (which varies depending on what he is doing). It is a delicate balance and there are “those days” when we have accounted for everything and done everything right, but his blood sugar numbers are still out of range. Diabetes doesn’t sleep, and neither does the parent of a diabetic, I get up to check his blood sugar at night, knowing if I don't and he goes low, he could simply not wake up one morning.
We are taking steps to help JDRF remove the impact of Type 1 diabetes from people's lives until no one has to fear developing this disease. By joining our Walk to Cure Diabetes team or making a donation you'll raise money to help fund critical research that will lead to a cure for Nathan and other children like him. JDRF is the only global organization with a strategic research plan to fight Type 1 diabetes. Every dollar JDRF is able to direct toward research comes from donors like you.
The challenge we've set ourselves - to raise money for JDRF and to walk - is modest compared to the daily challenges of life with Type 1 diabetes, which involves a 24/7, unrelenting cycle of blood sugar testing and insulin injections to manage the disease. PLEASE accept the challenge to make a difference by walking with us or making a donation to our team. Any amount is sincerely appreciated. It is easy to donate on-line by credit card. Simply click on the "Donate to this Team or a Team Member” button. The Looney Tunes team members are all making our personal donations to Nathan. Please feel free to do the same!
Thank you for your support!
Eric, Esther, Nathan, Joshua and Kayla Tune (aka The Looney Tunes)
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Rick and Shannon Rummel
The Crall Family