My son Henry is a baseball & soccer player, a musician & actor, a swimmer & cyclist, a student & friend; he is also a type 1 diabetic. No matter where he goes or what activity he is participating in; he is always a diabetic and the people around him must be trained to count carbohydrates, deliver insulin, react to low blood sugars and prevent acute diabetic related emergencies. He wears his insulin pump to school, to play-dates, to sporting events, while performing on stage and while sleeping. There is no break from diabetes, no vacation, no moment without pondering a blood sugar level or how the activities of the day will affect his blood sugar levels. My child is 8. This is a big job for adults, let alone a child. Anyone who cares for Henry during the day or night must understand diabetes and how to care for a diabetic.
Henry is one of millions of children, young adults and adults living with type 1 diabetes. He did not do anything that caused his diabetes. It just happened. We were the lucky ones, who figured out something was wrong before he was desperately ill – he only was hospitalized for 3 days; others are not so lucky they spend time in Intensive Care and kids die if the disease is not diagnosed or monitored closely.
Our extended family and friends walk for JDRF every fall. I walk to support Henry and all the children living with finger pokes, injections multiple times a day and the constant balancing act of food, insulin and activity to keep blood sugars in the appropriate range. I walk to gain hope and strength from the hundreds of walkers, raising thousands of dollars to change my son’s future and the future of all type 1 diabetics. With every step of the walk, there is a dollar raised that might just transform our understanding, our treatment and our ability to cure type 1 diabetes. I really believe that a cure is achievable in my life-time and more importantly in Henry’s lifetime.
I walk for JDRF to change the future, please join me on September 29th.
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