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.
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.
My son Conor was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes earlier this year while we were in Ireland. He wasn't himself the entire trip. We knew something was seriously wrong when he slept through a 9 am memorial mass we had for my dad after only waking up an hour earlier, and continued to sleep the rest of the morning into the afternoon. At this point I just wanted to get him to a doctor. I was really worried and prayed over and over that night that Conor would be ok until we made it to a doctor the next day. After an examination, the doctor told us he believed Conor had diabetes and we needed to go to the ER immediately. Conor was admitted and we were told he did, in fact, have diabetes and was also suffering from ketoacidosis (a life-threatening complication of diabetes that occurs when there is a severe shortage of insulin). I was terrified. He was so out of it that all the needles attached to his little arms didn't even make him cry. I really tried to be strong and not let him see me get upset but I failed miserably. My little baby was very sick and there was nothing I could do. While all this was going on, Grace was being passed back and forth between us, not knowing what was happening to her big brother. Hours later, we were told Conor was well enough to be moved to High Dependency (like our ICU, I think). He was still pretty out of it, but at least he was on the road to recovery. I couldn't talk about what was happening to him without crying. I knew nothing about diabetes!!! Instead of having time to research, I was going to have to play catch up. There was no time to prepare ahead for this.
I would stay with Conor during the day and Brian would take the night shift. I was almost 6 months pregnant at the time and Brian didn't think I should be sleeping on the pullout chair bed. I didn't want to leave the hospital, but I also had to think of Grace. She was in a different country and wasn't able to play with her brother every day anymore. Every time she saw him, he was lying in a bed. My babies were both very confused. After being moved to the regular pediatric unit, Conor was finally able to get up and walk around again. The hospital had a playground and a great playroom, so when Grace came to visit they got to play together. Conor usually waited for Grace's arrival before venturing into the playroom. :)
After 11 days in the hospital, and a few days of practice on our own, we were finally able to fly home. Conor is doing so much better. He can't have orange juice unless his blood sugar is running low, but he can have most of the things he had before as long as I give him an injection of insulin. He gets four injections of insulin a day and I test his blood sugar level by pricking his finger six times a day. He has been such a trooper! I am amazed by him all the time. I think he might be the bravest person I know. I could write so much more, and I'd really like to, but you would need hours (or possibly days!) to get through it all. If you have read this far, thank you so, so much.
What I pray for now, is a cure. I still cry for the innocent, care-free childhood that Conor will never have. I can't make him better and that is so frustrating! If you are able to donate anything to help us fight this disease my family and I will be so grateful. I hate asking for money, I am terrible at it. I will do anything for my little man though, so I'm asking. Every family knows someone with a medical issue and there are so many good causes that need support. If you are unable to support this one, we get that. If you are able to make a donation to JDRF, thank you. Or, if you'd like to join our team and walk with us on October 6th, even better! Just message me to let me know. Thank you for letting me share a small part of our story. :)
**JDRF is the largest nongovernmental funder of T1D research and the only global organization with a strategic research plan to fight T1D. This science is complex and costly, and every dollar JDRF is able to direct toward research comes from donors like you.