Hello! This year, I'll be taking part in JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes, along with one-half million other walkers across the country, as we try to reach our goal of raising $89 million.
Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, is a devastating disease that affects millions of people, a large and growing percentage of them children.
My son, Erick, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 4. At an age when most kids don''t have a worry in the world, my son was now having to deal with a major life changing diagnosis. It was a very difficult time in our lives. Having diabetes meant having to eat at specific times, having to eat whether he was hungry or not because his insulin was peaking at that time, being poked 6 times a day to check his blood glucose level, and having insulin injections 3 times a day. All of which is more than any 4 year old should have to endure. We were very fortunate to have started Erick on the Omnipod when he was 6. The Omnipod is an insulin pump which is changed every 3 days. It allows him to have a more "normal" lifestyle. No longer does he have to eat at set times and have to eat whether he is hungry or not. He can eat when he is hungry like everyone else. He still has to check his blood glucose level 5-6 times a day, but he doesn't have to endure the injections 3 times a day.
As a mom, it was one of the most devastating things that could happen to my child. No, he didn't have cancer and he wasn't dying, but to know that your child will never have a care free childhood was hardest to come to terms with. The worrying that goes with having a child with diabetes is ever present. We have a new "normal" in our lives now which includes 2am blood sugar checks, making sure that he checks his number and is bolused (given insulin) for what he eats, estimating carbohydrates, and being watchful of unusual behaviors that might signify a low or high blood glucose. Each season brings new challenges for us.
There is some good news, though. JDRF is our best hope for finding a cure. It funds more type 1 diabetes research than any other charity worldwide and it's making progress along many promising paths toward better treatments and a cure.
Now, more than ever, you can make a crucial difference. Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as possible? Together, we can make the cure a reality!
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Mr. Erick Joseph Hallick
Mr. Robert Zelinski