Dear friends and family---
You are invited to come to beautiful Asheville in October to participate in Alex's first JDRF diabetes walk. We are really excited that Asheville is now part of JDRF and is hosting it's first walk in 10 years!!!
We want this to be a celebration in honor of our commitment (and especially Alex's) to managing this lifelong disease. We are also very invested in raising funds to support the development of the first Artificial Pancreas. Watch the 2 minute YouTube video to learn more:
Alex was diagnosed with diabetes very suddenly and unexpectantly when he was four years old. To manage his diabetes, Alex wears an insulin pump 24 hours a day and pricks his finger about 10 times per day to monitor his blood sugar.
Since many people ask questions about what diabetes is and how it impacts the life of those with it, Alex wanted to provide you with the following sneak peak of an average day with diabetes:
On school mornings, most kids wake up by the parents calling them or an alarm clock going off. Not me, I wake up at 6:30 am each day by my dad leaning over me in bed and pricking my finger to get my morning blood sugar. If my blood sugar is high, my dad might dose some insulin or if it is low, he will make me drink a juice box first thing. Even if I am really hungry, I still can't eat my breakfast until my parents have weighed or measured my cereal so that we can tell how many carbohydrates are in it. After eating we count the carbs and I dose insulin from my pump. I have been doing this part by myself since I was about 6 years old. Well, I'm off to school and things go pretty normally until snack time at 10:30am. I have to prick my finger before my snack to get another blood glucose reading. My teacher and I count the carbs and I dose the insulin. In the beginning of the year the kids all stare and ask a ton of questions, but after a few days most of them get used to seeing everything. I still get embarrassed and like to do it fast before people notice. Before lunch I have to test my blood sugar again. If it is low I have to drink a juice box and wait 15 minutes in the classroom while the rest of my class goes to lunch. Hopefully my glucose has gone up or I have to drink another juice and wait another 15 minutes while my friends are all eating. About this time, my teacher calls one of my parents on the phone to tell them what is going on. On gym days I have to test more often. If I feel low at gym, which happens a lot, I have to tell my gym teacher and after pricking my finger, I have to sit out and drink juice and wait 15 minutes. I am not allowed to play during this time and I usually feel pretty shaky and bad if I am low. Often gym class is over before I can start playing again. I really hate when this happens. Later in the day we go outside for recess. My teacher always has to carry my diabetes bag with all my stuff in it when we are outside in case I get low or high. When I get home from school, I test again and then eat my snack and do homework. If I forget to put in the insulin dose for my snack I will go high later and that usually makes me feel mad or sad or just plain bad. It's a lot to remember sometimes. Before I can eat dinner, we test again---and of course my food is weighed and measured and we have to count carbs for all that I have eaten and dose my insulin from the pump. At bedtime I test one last time and dose insulin or drink a juice or have a snack depending on my numbers. And finally I can brush my teeth and go to bed like everyone else. Well...almost. On some nights my parents sneak in my room while I am sleeping and prick my baby finger (they say it is a good bleeder) to make sure that I am not going high or low. If I am low ---you guessed it---I have to drink juice--which I can now do while sleeping! If I am high my parents look around in my bed until they can find my pump and dose my insulin. The really hard part is that we have to do it ALL OVER again tomorrow... and the next day... and the next day until the artificial pancreas is created or a cure is found.
Please join our team for the JDRF walk at UNC-Asheville on Oct 7th at 1pm. We are hoping for a good turn out of family and friends for this fun and important event. FYI---On Saturday---the evening before the walk, we plan to ride the La Zoom bus for the Haunted Comedy Tour in downtown Asheville. Please consider riding along with us. We plan to take the 7:30 pm tour. See link for more info: http://www.lazoomtours.com/schedule/21/2012-10.html
Let us know if you will be walking with us so that we can order you an Alex Avenger T-shirt. Please make a donation to JDRF on our web site. Here is the link: Soco
Looking forward to hearing from you soon! Love, Wendy, Peter, Alex and Ethan
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