As many of you know, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the November of 1999 when I was 10 years old. At that young age I went through a series of doctors and tests to try and discover the cause behind my continual headaches, frequent thirst and urination, and sudden weight loss. The diagnosis came as a surprise to my family; we were unfamiliar with T1D and could not have imagined the impact it was going to make on my life.
For 13 years now, every day, I test my blood sugar 4-6 times and give boluses of insulin through my pump whenever I eat. I have to change my pump site 2-3 times a week to keep it working properly and avoid infections. I try to keep a perfectly balanced blood sugar to avoid high blood sugar symptoms of headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and irritability and low blood sugar symptoms such as shakiness, dizziness, confusion, and hunger, but not every day can be perfect.
This balance has been made a bit easier by a new device that I now wear: a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). This system includes a sensor that is injected into my skin and attached to a transmitter (about the size of a 9-volt battery) that sits above my skin. These parts test my blood sugar every 10 seconds and send data to a monitor (smaller than my cell phone) that I carry with me. This allows me to track my blood sugar constantly, detect trends, and predict or avoid highs and lows more quickly. The CGM is one of the many life?improving research projects that was funded by JDRF and it is helping me improve my control of T1D on hourly basis.
JDRF has become more than just a support system and a place for me to volunteer. After graduating from Drake University in May, I started working at JDRF! I am a Development Assistant, which means I get to work on all parts of JDRF?s events, including the Walk! It?s been a dream come true to work at JDRF. I am proud to know that I am spending my days working to find a cure for T1D. I put a lot of work into preparing for this year?s walk as a staff member and it was inspiring to see more than 6,000 people come out to support this great cause and enjoy the event that I helped to create. In my new role at JDRF I am privileged to be one of the first contacts that families newly diagnosed with T1D get to have with JDRF. I get to use my experience to help them discover a new normalcy in their lives with T1D and to get them excited about the research that JDRF is doing to help.
The percentage of people diagnosed with T1D grows every year. Our combined efforts can make a difference in the lives of millions. We must continue to support JDRF until we?ve reached all goals in the prevention, treatment, and the cure of T1D. YOUR CONTRIBUTION is helping JDRF work towards a cure! The research advancements grow leaps and bounds every year! Every dollar helps them to get that much closer. Please be a part of ending T1D.
Thank you all for continuing to support me and my family every year. It?s not only my passion to find a cure for T1D now, it?s my job! And I appreciate your presence in my efforts to fight T1D. Thank you!!!
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