James introducing himself at 2013 JDRF Children's Congress (Washington, D.C.)
James telling his story to about living with T1D during a meeting with FDA Commissioner Hamburg.
The Ketone Titans are lacing up their shoes for The Amazing Walk toward a cure!
Thank you for visiting my walk page! My name is James and I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on November 28, 2008 just before I turned 5 years old. I would love to meet and talk with you during our stroll through Niabi Zoo. It's great fun! I thank you for your support and generous donations to help me fight this disease! Please tell your friends and family. I'd love to have an even bigger walk team this year!! :)
I've got a lot of things to share with you! 2013 has been an exciting year for me with JDRF. I was fortunate to be picked as one of two delegates to represent the State of Iowa at the 2013 JDRF Children's Congress in July. There I got to meet 160 other kids from around the WORLD that were just like me! I made a lot of great friends like Sarah, the other Iowa delegate; and Grant from Texas, Fallon from New Mexico, Mia from Arizona, Willa from California and so many, many more! There were even delegates from Israel, Australia, Denmark, The Netherlands, Canada, and the UK. It was such a great experience and taught me there are others out there fighting with me to help find a cure! It was cool riding the Senate Subway to get to our meeting with our Senator and feel the power on "The Hill"!
The other cool thing was that I was able to meet successful grownups that live with Type 1 Diabetes, like: Charlie Kimball, Indycar Driver; Jean Smart, Actress; Mary Mouser, Actress; and Sam Talbot, celebrity chef; Crystal Bowersox, Singer; Gary Hall, Jr., Olympic Medalist; and Nicole Johnson, 1999 Miss America.. just to name a few!
My personal favorite "celebrity" was Dr. Aaron Kowalski who not only lives with Type 1, but has been instrumental in the success of the JDRF's Artificial Pancreas Project!
I hope that you join me at the walk so I can also tell you about my new pancreas! Mid-September 2013 I finally got my own Dexcom CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) which is also known as an artificial pancreas for Type 1 Diabetics. It's helping me, in addition to my insulin pump and blood glucose checks, to help alert me to scarry lows and exhausting highs coming my way. It's pretty exciting. I love watching my glucose graph on my receiver so much my mom keeps telling me to put it back in my pocket before I lose it! ha! I can't wait to show it to you! See you at the walk!
James has been fighting T1D ever since a local ER visit which extended to a week at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital in Iowa City to save his life. James has been fighting hard to raise money for JDRF so that he can someday “be like everybody else” and not have to stop and check his blood sugars up to 10x a day. He hopes to someday not have to wonder how his highs and lows will affect the way he feels and functions throughout his school day. His parents constantly worry about him experiencing a life-threatening high or low outside of their care.
He was just shy of his 5th birthday in November of 2008 when he had become deathly ill. The 2 months prior to being diagnosed, this happy and smiley boy dramatically changed into a moody, lethargic, boy who was wasting away to nothing. He was just skin and bones who was constantly sleepy, thirsty, and unable to control his bladder. James endures at least 10 finger pokes a day to test his blood sugars. He has to stop and check his blood sugars before he eats anything and dose himself insulin to fight the carbs that want to turn to sugar and go directly in his blood stream making him ill. He must track his blood sugars at least every two hours to be sure that he isn’t becoming too “low” or “high” and at risk of passing out or falling into a coma from the result.
There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes. It is not like Type 2 Diabetes that can be controlled by diet and exercise. T1D is not the result of his diet; it is the result of a pancreas that refuses to do its job in producing insulin. However, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is working hard to find a cure. James has participated in several of their trials. One of their recent discovers was a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) which is also known as a “fake pancreas”. It is a device worn to monitor blood sugars every minute to help determine future lows or highs. James participated in a CGM trial about 2 years into his diagnosis and had his best A1C levels.
James is always willing to participate in trials to help find a cure. He even laid still inside an enclosed MRI for a full 30 minutes while getting an MRI of his brain. He did get to watch his favorite Star Wars movie during it, but for a 8 year old, that was pretty good! :)