Think about the last time you went on a diet. We’ve all done it, even if it was just to lose a few pounds to fit into that great outfit! Whether you were decreasing carbs or fats, or just watching your portions, you were perversely aware of everything you were eating while committed to that regimen. Didn’t seem, too, like everyone around you wasn’t even paying attention to what they were eating?? Now imagine having to do that all day, every day without the option of quitting. But instead of a goal of losing a few pounds, your goal is to live to the next week and to stay out of the hospital so you could continue with your normal life. This IS the life of a type 1 diabetic. She must be continuously aware of her blood sugar levels and her carbohydrate intake throughout the day. But she can’t ever quit or just forget about it. She never gets a day off.
Now imagine how good it felt to add exercise to that diet. Consider how much you unknowingly relied on the intricate balance between your blood sugars, insulin and glucagon as your pancreas, liver, muscles and heart all worked in perfect harmony to provide you enough energy to perform without lowering your blood sugar to a point of hypoglycemia. You may have even overdone it a little and gone into a mild ketosis with no consequence. Imagine facing exercise needing to control these things manually. What if you had to understand how much fuel you would actually require for a given activity, had to turn off or lower your insulin supply in order to avoid hypoglycemia, and had to continually check your blood sugar levels to avoid ketoacidosis or hypoglycemia? This IS the life of a type 1 diabetic. She has to factor in not only food and activity levels but also stress, hormones and anxiety levels just to continue through a marching band performance, just to stay in a lacrosse game and not be sidelined because her sugar levels would put her at risk or affect her performance.
When Cynthia was diagnosed 5 years ago, I really thought there may be a cure while she was in high school. Thanks to the efforts of organizations like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), we are closer and closer every day. The artificial pancreas project will soon drastically improve the lives of children and adults with type 1 diabetes. But we won’t stop until there is a cure. With your support, this can happen in the near future.
Although her numerous activities keep us from confirming our attendance at the JDRF walk, we are using this site for sponsorship as I raise money for JDRF OC the following weekend when I complete my 16th full marathon in Santa Barbara. Please donate what you can in Cynthia’s name and forward to a friend who may want to add JDRF to their year-end giving.
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Jolean and Mas
Marichi & Rey Fragoza
Miss Beth Grivett
Mrs. Janet Wellington
Ms. Catherine Ann Fontaine