It is amazing how many children and adults I now know with Type 1 Diabetes. Growing up I knew none and had no knowledge this disease even existed.
Riley turns 13 in October and she has now lived with this disease almost 8 years. Devin just turned 10 and has lived with it for over 5 years.
We have been very fortunate to have such great support from family and friends who are willing to help raise money for a Cure and who are willing to be there to support our children emotionally as well.
This is our 8th year raising money for a Cure for Type 1 and every year we have had the Siglin family there by our side; walking for Riley and Devin, cheering for Riley and Devin, giving hugs to Riley and Devin, telling Riley and Devin how proud they are with the amazing job they do managing and persevering through a disease that takes no breaks and requires unyielding vigilance.
Pam and Kerby and their daughters Kate and Emma are incredible friends. We have shared many great memories and some hard times- always there for each other.
In February of this year Emma, 7 years old, started to have some mood swings-she was not herself. She was complaining of thirst and had started to wet her bed. This had not happened for years and was a little concerning. Pam talked to Jessica and of course Jessica recognized these symptoms as similar to what Riley had experienced. She did not want to alarm Pam but told her if she wanted to swing by she could check Emma’s sugar to make sure that Type 1 could be ruled out. Pam assured Jessica she would if the symptoms persisted.
Not too long after this conversation, Pam, Emma, and Kate were over one afternoon after school playing with Riley and Devin. Emma was showing signs of thirst and needed to use the restroom a few times in a short period of time. Pam realized it was time to test Emma so she could know for sure. The first check on Riley’s meter gave the message unable to calculate, sugar too high. We had Emma go wash her hands -and come back to recheck. This time the meter read 594.
I can only say that this was surreal-my heart broke. How could 3 kids in the same neighborhood, who go to the same school and have been friends for most of their lives contract the same autoimmune disease? The odds are Lottery worthy and ridiculous.
Needless to say Pam, Kerby, Kate and Emma’s lives have been changed forever. Never again will they sleep through the night with the peace of knowing their child/sister will wake in the morning. They will always struggle with the constant balancing act of treating low and high blood sugars, walking a fine line between dangerous lows that cause seizures/death and debilitating highs that can cause organ failure. Emma will have to endure 4500 finger pricks, 2,500 shots, and 4 visits to the Endocrinologist per year on average.
Like us they have asked the hard questions: How will this disease affect my child’s life? Will she still grow up happy and feel “normal”? How do I treat her as a parent? How can I be there for her if I don’t understand what she is going through? Why did God do this to her and to us?
Like us, they will find the answers in time. I do know that God has a plan. I am not sure what it is but I know that Emma, Riley and Devin and all those we now know with Type 1 Diabetes are strong and smart and courageous. God may have taken their pancreas (for now) but he did not take their spirit.
It is this spirit that gives us hope that someday soon there will be a cure for this disease and that our children will again know what it is like to have the freedom, freedom from this relentless disease.
I ask that you join our new team this year, Team RED (Riley, Emma, Devin). I think Pam said it best when she said, “All these years we have walked, we have been walking for Emma and we didn’t even know.”
Any donation you can give to the JDRF to advance the research that is already changing lives and maybe even lives of those you might know in the future is greatly appreciated. Thank you to everyone who has continued to support us on this journey. We are truly grateful.
|Denotes a Team Captain|
Barbara, Brooke and Hanna
Bart & Leslie Henderson
Dave and Sandy Sykes
Dennis & Susan Lynch and family
Fred and Maureen Sciallis
Jeannie and Dan Clark
Jeremy, Chrissy, Blake, and Reagan Sykes
Joseph & Ashley Carbone
Mike and Kim Becker
Mr. Alidor P Lefere
Mr. Joseph Penick
Mr. Wayne Drash
Mrs. Denise M Lewis
Mrs. Jacqueline Cardillo
Mrs. Lori Ahr
Ms. Laura E Hortas
Ted & Carolyn Burkle
The Bohn Family
The Chavez Family
The Crow Family
The Harkness Family
The Palazzo Family
The Startt Family
The Weinstein Family
Tom and Betsy Sykes