...For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack. Rudyard Kipling
As always, there is a lesson to be learned from nature. A well-coordinated team can attack any project, no matter how large, no matter how overwhelming. On Sunday, October 27th, we will once again gather Liz's Wolfpack with a goal of raising funds to help fund research for a cure for T1D (Type 1 Diabetes) and its complications.
T1D, or Juvenile Diabetes, is a devastating, often deadly disease that affects millions of people--a large and growing percentage of them children. I walk for and with my dear friend Elizabeth, who was diagnosed in 2004, at age 11.
Liz celebrated her 21st birthday on October 3rd and the past nine years have seen countless ambulance trips to the hospital and frightening diabetic seizures. In fact, as I write this, Liz is in the ER with a blood sugar of 400+ . When Liz's blood sugar is too high, she experiences vision problems that render her unable to read or watch TV for hours and leaves her with a horrendous headache. Blood sugar that becomes too low causes the loss of her swallowing reflex, trembling, stupor and loss of consciousness. The most horrific side effect of unstable sugar levels? Organ damage and death.
An average day has Liz pricking her fingers 6 to 12 times and injecting insulin between 4 to 6 times a day. If Liz's blood sugar drops too low while she is sleeping at night, she will never wake up.
As Liz's "Cioccia Wendy" I want to do everything that is within my power to see that Liz is able to live as normal a life as is possible. I want her to be able to pursue her hopes and dreams free of worry about an uncertain future. Liz, from an early age has never wavered from her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She recently began her junior year at Temple University as a pre-med student to make that dream a reality, and we are so very proud of her!
Liz also volunteers her time to speak with medical students at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine about her experience living with T1D and how medical providers can improve their bedside manner. The opportunities seem limitless for an incredibly successful future for Liz. Unfortunately, there is a black cloud hanging over her head with the uncertainty of a life visited upon by early death, blindness, kidney failure, amputation, heart attack or stroke.
Many people think T1D can be controlled by insulin, and while insulin does keep people with T1D alive, it is NOT a cure. Aside from the daily challenges of living with T1D, there are many severe, often fatal, complications caused by the disease. T1D usually shortens the average life span by 15 years due to organs damaged by the disease.
There is some good news, though. JDRF is our best hope for finding a cure. It funds more T1D research than any other charity worldwide and is making progress along many promising paths toward better treatments and a cure.
T1D is an autoimmune disease and we are optimistic that identifying a cure will also bring us closer to finding a cure for other autoimmune diseases that our loved ones' lives have been touched by, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and Grave's Disease, just to name a few.
YOU can make a crucial difference in the lives of so many. Please consider donating as generously as possible to Liz's Wolfpack team. Donations to our team will be gladly accepted through December 31, 2013.
I am asking for your support because now more than ever, EACH of us can be a part of bringing about a cure. Each of us can make a real difference. I also ask for your support to show Liz and her family that they are not in this alone, that there are people praying for them, and that we are all fighting to make the cure a reality.
-- A heartfelt THANK YOU for your prayers and support!
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