Hello! My name is Rebecca DeLong and from a distance I'm just like any other 14 year old kid. I play tennis, hang out with my friends, and go to school. But what you dont know about me is that I have type 1 diabetes. Right now, there is no real cure for type 1 diabetes. To me a REAL cure is one that allows all people with type 1 diabetes to be just like everyone else. The realization that a real cure may happen in the near future has made me think about what my life would be like without diabetes.
To me, life without diabetes would mean...
not having to carry my "machines" on me at all times
sitting down to eat with my family and actually being able to eat with them instead of waiting to eat when my blood sugar gets into a "normal" range
no more SHOTS
not having to changing my insulin pump site every 3 days
I could sleep through the night because now my parents have to wake up 2 times a night to check my blood sugar and then wake me up to eat or give insulin
no weird stares from people when I use my insulin pump or they see my blood glucose sensor on my arm
not having to leave tennis practice or matches to treat my diabetes
not having to constantly adjust my insulin when my blood sugar changes for no reason based on exercise, illness, growing, and general stress and excitement from being a teenager
not being treated differently
not worrying about the long term side effects like blindness, heart disease, and neuropathy, that diabetes has on my body
A dream of mine is to know what it's like to live a normal life without diabetes. I know this dream is in my future. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is a researched based nonprofit organization that is leading the way to help find a cure for this disease. Two areas of research that JDRF is involved in, is the restarting of the insulin cells in the pancreas and completion of an artificial pancreas. The artificial pancreas does not cure diabetes but it is a series of sensors and pumps (built into the size of a double thick iphone) that will function just like a pancreas and will manage my diabetes without finger pricks or shots. It will keep my blood sugar at a normal level as if I had a normal pancreas.
This last month I read a report from the Center for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Heath that stated that the incidence of Type 1 diabetes in children in the United States rose by 23% from 2001-2009. This is a huge increase that affects thousands of kids. 41 kids everyday receive the diagnosis that they have Type 1 diabetes and from that day forward their lives are changed forever. This last year I set a goal to raise $3000 in the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Thanks to the help of so many people my team was able to raise over $6700 to help find a cure. This year for the November 3rd JDRF Walk for Diabetes, I am setting my goal at $5000. I know that the cure is right around the corner and every dollar helps. Please consider donating any amount, even a small amount to help me find a cure. 41 kids everyday come close to dying and find out that they have Type 1 Diabetes. Their life from that day forward is never the same. I didn't ask for this to happen either, but when I was 5 years old...it did. Help me support JDRF and their work, for all the kids that currently live with Type 1 Diabetes and for the 41 more kids that will unfortunately join me today! My life and the life of 500,000 kids depends on you.
Please check out a video my mom made about my life with Type 1 Diabetes - click on the link below!
Your donation will count towards the team's fundraising total. In addition, please give credit to the person that asked for your support to recognize them for their efforts in creating a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D).