The annual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, is Sunday Oct 6th at 8:30AM. As most of you know, this Walk has special meaning for us because our 6 year-old daughter, Josefina, has been living with Type I Diabetes since she was 17 months old. This October 6th, will be 5 years of Josefina living with this incurable and life-altering disease. Unless we find a CURE, this disease will always be a part of her life. On October 2, 2008 our lives were completely turned upside down and we were told that loving our daughter unconditionally wasn't ever going to be enough. We were faced with many tears, endless challenges, emotional roller coasters, sleepless nights, excessive doctor's visits, daily management plans, medical decisions and the list goes on. We thought it would go away………….but it hasn’t, and it won’t until we find the CURE. We're not just parents desperate for an answer or a CURE but we’re also advocates, health-care professionals and yes, even politicians that are in search of anything that will give our baby a better and easier way of life.
Type I Diabetes can be managed, but only with tireless effort and commitment from Josefina's caretakers and more importantly, herself. We can't ever "not think about it", "forget about it for now" or "take care of it later". Every day of Josefina's life is filled with forethought, decisions and ramifications. Her life is a careful plan and tricky balance between being a kid and being a good and responsible patient. By October 6th of this year, Josefina will have had her finger pricked a minimum of 18,250 times to check her blood glucose levels, 3,000 shots and 475 site changes with a 2-3 inch needle and she's only 6. She sometimes has to wear up to four different machines and gadgets on her little body just to keep her alive. She has countless years left of this inconvenience and sometimes agonizing hardship to endure if we don’t find the CURE for her and the thousands of others just like her. No matter how well we control her HBA1C levels (quarterly blood test), she already has several strikes against her. At the tender age of six she is already at a much more increased risk, than you and I as adults, of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney failure and blindness just to name a common few.
Josefina is our inspiration. This 6 year-old rises to the challenge every day and regardless of the adversity that she faces, she never ceases to amaze us. Although her life is filled with constant unfairness, she tries her best to put things into perspective and rationalize with herself why she can’t or shouldn’t partake in the food her friends are eating or the activities that her friends are doing. Some days are better than others, but it’s hard at the age of 6 to think like a mature adult. Josefina had another big year filled with lots of milestones. Her baby brother William was born last September and she decided that it was very hard to be a big sister to two little brothers. When we went together to teach her Kindergarten class about her diabetes, she stole the show and did most of the explanation without any of my assistance. Josefina went to diabetes camp for the third time this year and loved it. She finally agreed to try a different continuous glucose monitoring device and with mounds of coaxing, agreed to wear it so we could better identify and her high and low glucose trends. Learning to read this year has helped Josefina improve her ability to read the carbohydrate values for her food to dose her insulin.
JDRF is our best hope for finding a cure and making Josefina's future free of this heavy burden. With your donation to Josefina’s Jamboree, you can help the JDRF in their ultimate mission of finding THE CURE and improved treatments to reduce or eliminate the overwhelming daily life and the horrendous long-term complications that can result from this disease if not carefully managed. The JDRF 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. Your support for the JDRF means so very much to us and no donation is too small or insignificant. Together, we can make THE CURE a reality for Josefina and thousands of others just like her!
We would also love to see you on Walk Day to support Josefina's team, Josefina's Jamboree, Sunday October 6th at 8:30am. It's a pleasant and leisurely 3-mile walk on Chicago's beautiful lakefront. If you can make it, please join us and sign up on this same website (walk.jdrf.org)! Your support means so very much!
With never ending gratitude,
David, Andrea, Josefina, Charles and William
Please make donations and/or register to walk with Josefina's Jamboree online at walk.jdrf.org. Personal checks can also be mailed to 1512 S. Washington, Park Ridge IL 60068
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