Meet Josef Itah. Born in Morrocco, he immigrated to Israel with his family in the 50’s and then to the US in 1981.
Father of 3.
The first picture is my dad and I when I was 5. I'm on the right.
The second is he and I again a short 15 years later. Notice in the second picture he’s not smiling fully because he’s losing his teeth. He’s lost a lot of weight. He’s also favoring one leg, a precursor to the infection that would ultimately kill him. He’d just had his leg amputated because he’d had a bad leg infection a few months earlier that drove him to the hospital.
My dad died when I was 22 because of complications related to type 1 diabetes (T1D). The year was 2005, I had just graduated college in May and by August he was dead. He was 56 years old.
People make excuses for why he’d had to die: he didn’t take care of his health, they’d say, or he grew up in a rural area with poor access to medicine, they’d say, or he was self-employed and had no health insurance.
The bare fact is that yes, all those things are true, but they’re all excuses. I didn’t deserve to lose my father. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and there is no cure.
That’s why I'll be taking part in this year's Walk with Team Allstate to raise funds for the millions of people living with and affected by T1D.
I hope you will sign up and join me at the JDRF walk at the Chicago Lakefront on October 5th at 9:30 AM.
Here are all the sites Team Allstate will participate in: