Vertigraph, Inc. is thrilled to announce our corporate gold sponsorship of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 2012 Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday September 29, 2012 at the American Airlines Center Victory Plaza in downtown Dallas.
As a sponsor, we are encouraging everybody to join us for this fun, family event and three mile stroll. The event supports families and individuals affected by Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and raises research money for the development of a cure. The walk starts at 9:00 AM and proceeds up the Katy trail, finishing before 11:00. The weather should be very nice during this time of the year, so mark this fun, family event on your calendar today!
To join the Vertigraph walk team or to support the search for a cure, please click below. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Why is Vertigraph, inc. involved?
The founder and President of Vertigraph, Inc., Erich Schoenkopf, has been impacted by Type 1 diabetes for many years. Erich has witnessed the effects, struggles and turmoil of this deadly disease. The following are Erich's thoughts:
As many of you are aware, I?ve had T1D for over 46 years. I am extremely lucky for having lived and managed TID for this long. Many others are not so fortunate. Historically, less than 10% of diabetics live with the disease past fifty years. Growing up in a small town, I knew three other T1 diabetics well. My younger brother Mark passed away due to T1D at the age of 35. Another high school friend, Scott, lived with T1D for less than twenty years before it took his life. Another friend and neighbor, Tricia lost her vision due to T1D. Due to my knowledge, experience and success, making a contribution to the cure has become crucial to me and to the other TI diabetics that are not as fortunate. That is why Vertigraph and I are requesting your help.
The treatment of T1D is so much better than in the past and is constantly improving. Many companies are developing cutting edge treatments to effectively manage this disease. Unfortunately, the bigger money I feel is in treating diabetics rather than finding the cure. JDRF is the leader in finding a cure and we are proud to sponsor its search.
A cure to T1D based on increasing research and knowledge will happen. The question is when ? 20 years or 100 years? The key to a cure is research, money, cooperation and effort. That is why we are supporting JDRF and hope you choose to join in our support.
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
There are two types of diabetics, Type I and Type II. There are many differences between these two types.
Worldwide, there are about 171 million diabetics, but only about 10 percent of those have Type 1 diabetes. The vast majority have Type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to obesity. According to the American Diabetes Association about 900,000 to 1.8 million people have Type 1 diabetes in the US. More than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes each year in the US.
The Airplane Analogy
Much of the following was written by Scott Hanselman, reference is hereby made.
You are flying from L.A. to New York. You have to maintain a consistent altitude the whole way. Note: For this analogy we will focus on a good cruising altitude and pretend that taking off and landings aren?t important.
For a TI diabetic, food and the passage of time raises the plane?s altitude (blood sugar). Insulin and exercise lowers it. Non-diabetics don?t have to think about altitude, as you all have a working pancreas (autopilot) and don?t sweat altitude. Diabetics, on the other hand, have to wonder if they are at a safe altitude 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Staying at a consistently high altitude (high blood sugar) will eventually make you sick with long term, serious complications; while a low altitude (low blood sugar) can kill you quickly.
When I prick my finger to check my blood sugar with a glucose test strip, that?s an altitude check.
Each time I feel I need to lower the altitude (i.e. my blood sugar), I take insulin. Many, like me, take a manual shot by measuring the insulin dose and filling the syringe by hand. I typically take 5 or 6 shots a day. Others get their insulin through an insulin pump that?s attached to the individual 24 hours a day. If I take too much insulin, my blood sugar or altitude will drop too far. Here I?ll need to eat something sweet quickly to raise my blood sugar to a safe, higher altitude.
Here?s where the analogy gets interesting. Remember in the analogy we are flying from L.A. to New York, except we only check our altitude occasionally. And, we only get to change the altitude (take insulin) less than ten times a day. But, when I check my blood sugar, I?m actually seeing the past. I?m seeing a reading of what my blood sugar was 15 minutes ago. And, when I take insulin, it doesn?t start lowering my blood sugar for at least 30 minutes.
Now, imagine yourself in that plane with an altimeter that shows you the altitude 15 minutes in the past, and a yoke that changes the altitude ? but when you press on the yoke, your altitude won?t change for a half-hour. It would be a challenging trip. Keep in mind, the improvements in T1D treatment over the years relates to the speed in learning about the altitude and the effects of the insulin in adjusting the altitude. When I first was diagnosed, much before blood checkers and fast acting insulin, the time frame was hours not minutes. I would be checking blood sugars four hours in the past and the insulin would reach maximum effectiveness five hours after the shot. Knowledge of blood sugars is power for TIDs.
The altitude adjustments must be performed constantly. Also, diabetics are never able to land; they are constantly flying, even in the middle of the night. And constantly checking altitude and performing the tasks necessary to manage the proper altitude. Altitude mistakes sometimes happen as our altitude may become too high or too low. The altitude or blood sugar is rarely constant with a diabetic. Many other factors change the blood sugar or altitude. The size of the insulin dose, exercise, illness, stress and the amount and type of food eaten will greatly impact the altitude or blood sugar.
If you fly long enough you do get recognized. Many of us long term fliers look forward to the recognition provided by the Joslin Diabetes Center?s 50-Year Medal Program which recognizes individuals who have lived with T1D for 50 or more years. Currently, not many have been able to fly for fifty years and only about 3,000 Americans have been award 50 year medals since 1972.
I hope this flying analogy provides a better understanding of the management, difficulty and disciple that is required by us Type 1 diabetics. It also spurs us to find a cure. Please join us in this cause.
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Dr. Crista DeLuzio