Time flies...especially when you have children. This October 31st marks 5 years that Ava has been living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). At 9 years old, that is more than half of her life. In our family we live in the present and look forward to the future so we’ve never asked Ava if she remembers what it was like to not be T1D. She may not remember specifically, but she can probably imagine it pretty well as she sees others living it every day. In doing the JDRF Walk each year, we are hoping to make an impact on Ava’s present and future and 2013 has shown that we are making a difference!
This year Ava has been blessed with the opportunity to wear a Continuous Glucose Meter (CGM) which is a device that tests her blood sugar levels automatically every 5 minutes. The results enable her to know at any time day or night what direction her blood sugar is heading. It provides a trend graph which is especially helpful at night to see what is going on so that as a parent we can be more confident that she will not suffer from low blood sugars overnight and suffer seizures, coma or even death while we are all sleeping. If she should have extremely low or high blood sugars, it sounds off an alarm alerting us to the potential issue. It is not a cure but it is an awesome tool in diabetes management. Todd wears one too so sometimes there is an awful lot of beeping and alarms going off between the two of them in our house!
Just weeks ago, the U.S. FDA approved another device that is an amazing breakthrough in the world of diabetes management. It is a smart insulin pump/CGM combo that can determine when someone has low blood sugars and will stop automatically giving insulin to them hopefully allowing that person’s blood sugars to rise to a safe level. Insulin pumps are the devices that many T1D’s wear, like Ava, that gives insulin to their bodies 24 hours a day trying to mimic a healthy pancreas. From a technology standpoint this is like going from a flip phone to a smart phone...the original did the job but the new one has capabilities that actually really impact your day to day life.
Now although both of these are not cures for T1D...they are tools that will make a definite impact in the diabetic community. Having better control of your blood sugars means lessening the detrimental impact that diabetes has on a person’s body, living longer, and living a more “normal” less demanding life with diabetes. The research that JDRF supports on the way to finding a cure has helped to create these amazing advances which is so impactful for people like Ava living with diabetes. But we still need to find a cure for T1D. Diagnosis for Type 1 diabetes is on the rise...there was a more than a 23% increase in diagnosis since 2001.
Every day 41+ children in the U.S. are diagnosed with T1D...that’s 15k children every year. Those numbers are the same for adults as well. World-wide it’s increasing ~3% annually. JDRF knows the importance of stopping T1D and finding a cure and have funded more than $1.7 billion since 1970. Over 80% of monies raised goes to research and research-related education every year.
If you would like to be a part of the cure...we ask that you join us as we walk with Ava and her team, Ava’s Angels.
Please remember that all donations, no matter the amount, are tax-deductible, and over 80% of all donated dollars go directly to research. Be sure to check out the attached sheet for t-shirts! You receive (1) free with every $100 raised or donated to Ava’s Angels or you can buy one for $15.00…all profits are donated to Ava’s Angels.
Thank you for your support…we would be honored to see you at the Walk on October 27th either as a walker or just cheering us on! Go Ava Go!!
Todd, Teresa and Ava
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