Welcome to my personal JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes fundraising page!
I'll be taking part in this year's Walk to raise funds for the millions of people living with and affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D). The money I raise will help JDRF fund critical research to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people's lives until no one has to fear developing the disease.
For those of you who don't know, type 1 diabetes is a life-threatening autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin - a hormone essential to the ability to get energy from food. It strikes both children and adults suddenly and changes life as they know it forever. It cannot be prevented and there is no cure.
Diabetes is a cruel and insidious disease that attacks multiple body systems and can cause complications like gum and tooth disease, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, circulatory disease and blindness. I've impacted by Diabetes my entire life. My Big Sister Jacquie was diagnosed when she was 7 years old and I watched her grow up with the disease. Constantly pricking her finger to test her blood sugar levels, taking shots and managing her diet based on her diabetic needs.
Later in life I watched my mother struggle to control her diabetes when she was diagnosed with type II diabetes when she was 50. Eventually mom succumbed to a stroke, likely caused by her diabetes. Later I would donate my left kidney after diabetes destroyed Jacquie’s. Eventually we celebrated that she found a pancreas transplant donor and after receiving the pancreas she is no longer diabetic, but having a transplant comes with its own set of complications.
In June of 2005 I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. I’ve watched this disease take family members from my life, seemingly a piece at a time. I fully understand the risks to me if I don’t keep strict control of my Diabetes. I have felt spirit crushing exhaustion, frequent runs to the rest room and unquenchable thirst that comes from high blood sugar at levels. Conversely, I’ve had the sweats, shakes and lack of mental clarity from low blood sugar. That’s why I’m walking, to do my part to help find a cure for Diabetes. I’m walking for my sister Jacqueline Lewis-Kemp, for my mother Willie Jean Lewis, for my cousin James Porter and I’m walking for me!
The long term side effects of uncontrolled diabetes can be debilitating and eventually fatal. The short term effects are no less crippling, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve seen so many advances in the treatment of this disease just in my short lifetime. I have complete faith that with continued research, over time we can find a cure for diabetes and in the short term a way to better manage the disease for the millions of people living with it. With your help, we can get a step closer…get ME a step closer.
Please support me and donate to my Walk fundraising campaign. Your gift will make a difference for millions of people affected by this devastating, life-threatening disease. Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as possible today?
Thank you for your support!
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Mr. Jeffrey Lewis