Hello, it's Casey! This year, I'll be taking part in JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes, along with one-half million other walkers across the country, as we try to reach our goal of raising $89 million.
I love to swim, jump rope, ride my bike, play in the park and play with brother, sister, and my friends. If you were to see me in the park, you would think that I am a healthy kid.
However, I have type 1 diabetes and I am insulin dependent. As a result, my life is far from normal. My daily routine is on a constant schedule to stay healthy. I have finger pokes and insulin within a half hour before eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks each day. I'm being to understand what diabetes means,and I know that sometimes I have to eat when I do not want to, and sometimes I cannot eat when I am hungry, and that I can seldom sleep-in or may not be able to have treats when my friends do. Growing up with diabetes is very hard. It is hard to control and every day is a challenge.
I monitor my blood sugar five to seven times a day. Each time I poke my finger it feels like a paper-cut. In January, I started using an insulin pump and in February, a continous glucose monitor. Since I have been diagnosed, I have poked my fingers over 5510 times and received over 2250 insulin shots, 100 insulin infusion pump changes, and 65 sensor changes. All those pokes since October 27, 2010!
I am the only one in my family with type 1 diabetes. Most people do not know that it can strike any family and that you can never ?grow out of it?. I will be insulin dependent for life. I have been told that I am special, but I do not want to be special. I just want to be like all the other kids. Diabetes is yucky, and I do not want to have it and I do not want anyone else to have it. Every day is a struggle of doing things I do not want to do and hoping I do not develop the complications associated with diabetes. You see, the longer I have diabetes the more likely I am to develop complications such as kidney disease, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage leading to amputation. Even if I do everything I am supposed to, I can still develop these complications. I am also likely to live fifteen years shorter than normal. I hate diabetes. A cure is the only way out.
Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, is a devastating disease that affects millions of people, a large and growing percentage of them children.
There is some good news, though. JDRF is our best hope for finding a cure. It funds more type 1 diabetes research than any other charity worldwide and it's making progress along many promising paths toward better treatments and a cure.
Now, more than ever, you can make a crucial difference. Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as possible? Together, we can make the cure a reality!
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Aunt Sarah & Uncle Rich
Miss Casey Byrd
Mrs. Vonda 'Joshua' S Mosher