Welcome to my personal JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes fundraising page!
Normally I write this letter every year on July 20th...the day our lives changed forever. But this year I forgot. Its the first time I didn't relive that day and cry. Not because diabetes has left our family, or it's easier to deal with. Both my girls were at Diabetes camp...and I didn't have to deal with it. But they do. They never get a break. For those of you who have never heard our story, it goes like this: I was supposed to going to a baby shower for my soon-to-be-born baby girl. Instead I was rushing a very sick Morgan to Vanderbilt hospital. Over the next few hours Mike and I learned that our little 4 year old girl had type 1 diabetes. An autoimmune disease that had destroyed the cells in her pancreas that produce insulin. She would have to take shots, monitor every bite of food, and prick her fingers multiple times a day for the rest of her life. It was a rough day. And although most days are good ones now, it requires constant vigilance, and even then, some days are still bad. One of the worst days was when Zoe started showing some familiar symptoms eight years later. She was officially diagnosed the next day, on October 24th at age 8. Luckily, she was caught very early and did not get really sick like Morgan.
We are so thankful that with technology like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, that the girls can be healthy most of the time! Even with the best care, though we still have scary days. We have had trips to the ER this year due to complications from typical childhood illnesses that turned very serious for Zoe. I can tell you there is no worse feeling than looking at your child and knowing there is nothing you can do to make them better, and they have no choice but to go to the hospital. Even after 14 years, considering myself a pro, I still get mad when we do everything right, and things go wrong! My girls are very mature and capable of taking care of themselves, but it doesn't stop me from worrying. Morgan has left for college, and she's on her own. I am constantly worried about her numbers, if she's taking her shots, if she's got emergency sugar with her, if all the walking is making her go low...etc. I hate that she has adjust to college AND stay on top of her diabetes. I worry about her getting sick and not being able to help her. I'm so very fortunate that she's on the campus with doctors and sister! That helps me so much.
JDRF is the largest funding source for research. I got to hear some amazing research at the yearly update on research this summer. It made me hopeful for the first time in a long time that a cure really will be found. It was so exciting to know that this research is being done at VANDERBILT! One of the doctors actually grabbed my hand when I told her about Morgan and Zoe and their diabetes, and Zoe's thyroid disease and looked in my eyes and said "I promise to you I'll work harder, I'll work faster". You see, she's a mom, too, and seeing these families at the end of her research made a difference to HER.
You can make a difference by making sure the funding continues. No donation is too small!
Every year I add up the number of pokes my girls endure, and I’m always shocked. Between the 2 of them they have had:
over 100,000 finger pricks
over 14,000 shots of insulin
over 400 insulin pump site changes
Those are just for my daughters. Can you imagine what those numbers would be if we added every type 1 child or adult registering for this walk? I think it would be staggering.
This is why I’d like to take this opportunity to thank JDRF and Vanderbilt for the endless research, care and support they give to my family.
Please consider donating and joining our team to walk!
If you think this page contains objectionable content, please inform the system administrator.
Mr. James P Bryant
Mrs. Sherrie Kaiser
Olivia & Beth Forehand