A few weeks back my son came home from camp VERY excited, bursting with news. Calm down. What's going on? "Today my friend said that his sister outgrew her food allergy! So, how big do I have to be to outgrow my diabetes?" Ughhh! During the extra few seconds it took me to come up with a good response, his bright, pleading eyes glazed over in disappointment. He knew it couldn't happen, but he was hoping for a miracle. " I'm sorry you can't outgrow your diabetes, but they are working really hard for a cure". The river of tears continued.
Two of our three children have Juvenile Diabetes and scenarios like this have unfolded in our house dozens of times. They let us know that every birthday candle they blow out carries the wish for a cure, not for a toy. This October marks our 5 year anniversary of living with Type 1 Diabetes. Ari was diagnosed after his 1st birthday and is now 6. Ethan was diagnosed at 9 and is almost 12. While we focus on their strengths and growth throughout the year, we cannot deny that diabetes has had the single biggest impact on our family life.
Ethan and Ari's lives are completely dependent upon a correct combination of carbohydrate intake and insulin doses. Managing their diabetes and providing a safe diet is a 24/7 job. Ari alone has had his fingers and toes pricked for blood tests over FIFTEEN THOUSAND times. Yet, despite our best efforts to manage it, diabetes is quirky. The children often have wide swings in blood sugars in response to any viral illness, seasonal allergies, sudden weather changes, growth spurts, or for no apparent reason at all. In addition feeling awful, these swings are particularly unhealthy. Low blood sugars may be life-threatening, cause them to pass out, have seizures, or worse. Ethan describes his high blood sugars as causing headaches, stomach aches, insatiable thirst and hunger. Frequently, when he is at a special event and his blood sugar has sky-rocketed, he can't partake in the fun, all the good food, and desserts. Most people would say ignore it-just have fun. But the insulin he takes to lower his blood sugar makes him so hungry it hurts.
While they lead otherwise normal lives, there is nothing "normal" about living with diabetes. We share our children's frustrations with this awful disease. We hate that diabetes complicates everything. Why can't our children be satisfied with a soccer ball, a baseball glove, or even an Xbox for their birthdays? Why can't we get a good night's sleep like other parents instead of having to wake up every night, three times a night, to test their blood sugars? Why do they have to stop playing and test themselves in the middle of a soccer game, a birthday party, or even in the middle of math class? Why can't they go 3 days without us having to change their pump catheter sites? (You should see the size of that needle!). As parents, our greatest wish is to end the constant worry, hypervigilance, and our fear of consequences that accompanies diabetes.
A genuine cure is possible. In fact, it may be in sight. But we need your help to get there. Many of you have generously supported our drive on behalf of the JDRF in the struggle against Type 1 Diabetes. As of now, we have raised over $100,000, and with your help, this year we will add another $35,000 to that. With your support, the JDRF has brought us closer than ever to a CURE. And that's good news because even with our best efforts, we cannot prevent the possible consequences of diabetes: heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and skin ulcers. New technologies have made it easier to manage diabetes, but these are treatments. We need a CURE. Please help our team, The Battling Brothers, as Ethan & Ari struggle along with the millions of others afflicted by this disease. You can make your tax deductable donation here by clicking the "donate" link at the top of this page or by sending us a check made payable to JDRF c/o Ethan & Ari Mayblum 50 Andrew Lane, New Rochelle NY 10804. And, if you can, please join us on our annual walk, Sunday October 14th 9am at Yonkers Raceway!
Juvenile Diabetes may be uncaring and unrelenting, but it is not incurable!
Debbie, Adam, Ethan, Kyle, and Ari.
The Mayblums "The Battling Brothers"
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