Megan Pankratz





  • Zain then

    Zain then

  • Zain now

    Zain now

I'm the take steps towards a cure type.

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Join me in the fight to create a world without type 1 diabetes!

Most of you know Zain is the daughter of my brother Aj's girlfriend and I consider her my niece! Zain is the spunkiest, strongest 4 year old I have ever met. Her and her brother Everett, 7 years old, have brought so much joy to our lives and we are so thankful to have them as part of our family! Please help me reach my personal goal of contributing at least $1000 to her team, Team Zaniac. Luke and I are both personally walking with her to support finding a cure, even 32 weeks pregnant!! This little girl is very important to me and my family. Here is her story...

Zain was born a strong, healthy, beautiful baby girl. Easy pregnancy, full term, and speedy delivery.  In no time she was trying to keep up with her big brother. Holding her head up that first day, quick to roll over and sit up. Crawling seemed to be a challenge, but I still like to think she just wanted to go right into walking as early as she did. Zain has proven to be strong and willful.

Zain was 13 months old when we found out she had Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes. It was no simple telling of symptoms to the doctor. No in and out process. It was weeks of my poor baby lethargic with very scary highs, drastic weight loss from not keeping food down, soaking through diapers so quickly she had rashes and welts. Her Aunt and I brought her to the ER and were told it was just a stomach bug. By the next day it worsened we took her to Urgent Care, turned away again. We went back 3 different times, before finding out Zains blood sugar was over 900, when normal is in the low 100's. While there she had gotten faint and passed out and we were rushed to the hospital. So dehydrated they had to put the IV in her tiny head. The scariest time of my life was seeing my baby girl in that state.

Still, we were so blessed to find out when we did. We had the best doctors and team anyone could ask for. They taught our family how to help manage Zain’s diabetes. She gained her strength back and then some! Even though we moved and saw different doctors our team here in Des Moines could not be replaced.

I just want people to understand the extremities of Type 1 Diabetes. It is not contagious, it is not a lifestyle disease caused by unhealthy eating or bad habits. Zain was just a normal happy and healthy baby. Now she gets her finger pricked about every 2 hours, shots every time she eats and wakes up (when she is off the pump) Or as we say a sling shot to her bottom or legs every 2-3 days. She gets extreme headaches when she is high and feels faint when she is high or low. People tell me, “at least it is just diabetes!” or “at least it is manageable”.  And yes, we are so truly grateful it is not something much worse. But just diabetes!? Manageable!? We do our best and we have good days, and sometimes weeks. Still it is very dangerous and very serious. Sometimes with short term and/or long term repercussions.  We need awareness and we need a cure!

Now a few years later, Zain is my strong, stubborn, mostly healthy, and beautiful 4 year old baby girl. Obsessed with Katy Perry, she loves entertaining with her song and dance. Very independent, she never needs/wants help, she could prick her own finger and check her blood by the age of 2. Still learning, growing, and inspiring us every day. Zain is one of a kind. Although strong and independent she still gets sick from highs, and she still drops to drastic lows, she will still get pricked and stuck with needles multiple times a day.  Zain and others who have Juvenile or Type 1 diabetes will live with it for the rest of their lives or until we find a cure. So I ask for you to join us in a walk, or a small donation not only to find a cure but to raise awareness.

Thank you for your support,

Zain and family  

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Date and time

May 10, 2014
Check-in: 8:00 AM
Starts: 9:30 AM
Length of walk: 1 mile


Iowa State Fairgrounds
3000 E. Grand Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50317



Tori Lemke
Email | (515) 802-3333

Greater Iowa Chapter
3580 EP True Parkway
Suite 101
West Des Moines, IA 50265