On January 3rd, 2009 our son, Taite, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. He was 20 months old. He will be Insulin dependent for the rest of his life. In the last four years, Taite has had his tiny fingers poked nearly 22,000 times for blood sugar testing, and endured 750 pump set changes (which are similar to a shot); he also deals with the ups and downs of his blood sugar daily. Everything he eats must be weighed and measured. He is checked around the clock, interrupting his sleep and play. His blood sugar goes up and down with his emotions, and it can go dangerously low in the sun or stay high for hours when he is excited. His body doesn't react the same every time, so it's nearly impossible to anticipate. His insulin pump is great, but it's not what everyone thinks it is. To clear up a few myths: it's not an internal pump, it doesn't react to his blood sugar, it has to be moved about every other day to a different spot on his body, it leaves behind sore spots, lumps under the skin, and sometimes scars. It has to be worn nearly every hour of his life, even while he sleeps, a 23" tube attaches to the pump that is manually told each and every check, how much insulin to give. He can't swim or bathe with it on, it has to be detached, and the site covered with a cap. Too much insulin at a time 'burns' his skin, and after removing a site, his skin is itchy for hours. Being a kid with Diabetes isn't fun, but Taite continues to be the most lively, imaginative and funny kid around.
Taite isn't alone; as many as 3 million Americans have Type 1, and each year 15,000 more are diagnosed; that's 40 a day. Our family, like many others, does not have a family history of Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 is not the same as Type 2 Diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing a hormone called Insulin. Type 2 is a metabolic disorder, and does not always require Insulin injections. They are two totally different diseases, sharing one name. While Insulin keeps Taite alive, it isn't a cure and without a lifetime of tight control, he is at a greater risk of kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputation, heart attack, stroke, and a shortened lifespan.
We don't promise Taite a cure, but what we do promise is that we'll do whatever we can to help fund research to find one. That's why we have formed Team Taite and will be walking Sunday, April 21st 2013 in Missoula, Montana; and every year after, until there is a cure. All proceeds will go to JDRF, the #1 non-profit for Type 1 Diabetes research worldwide.
Please forward this site to others in your friend and family circle. Even if you are unable to donate, by reading this page and sending it to only one person, you are spreading Type 1 Diabetes awareness and putting a face to a disease that has been sadly misunderstood for way too many years.
Special THANK YOU to our cousin, Bill Martin, for Taite's video!
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Gary & Patti Gordon