Join me in the fight to create a world without type 1 diabetes!
Welcome to my JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes personal fundraising page!
I'm joining this year's Walk to raise funds to improve the lives of millions of people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). The money I raise will help JDRF advance its strategic research plan to end T1D.
T1D is a life-threatening autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, which the body needs to get energy from food. Managing the disease requires constant carbohydrate counting, blood-glucose testing, and lifelong dependence on insulin. With T1D there are no days off, and there is no cure.
I was diagnosed with T1D in February 1996, so I have had it for 18 years now. It has been a difficult journey, to say the least. Being diagnosed at the lucky age of 13 and going through my teens and twenties with that inevitable feeling that most get in this age group of thinking they are invisible and no complications will ever happen to them. Well here I am in my thirties wishing I could go back and tell my teenage self that this is not true! I have been dealing with severe proliferative retinopathy. Retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by complications of not well-controlled diabetes, which can eventually lead to blindness. As the disease progresses, severe diabetic retinopathy enters an advanced, or proliferative (PDR), stage when blood vessels proliferate (i.e. grow). The lack of oxygen in the retina causes fragile, new, blood vessels to grow along the retina and in the clear, gel-like vitreous humour that fills the inside of the eye. Without timely treatment, these new blood vessels can bleed, cloud vision, and destroy the retina. Some people, as in my case as well, develop a condition called macular edema. It occurs when the damaged blood vessels leak fluid and onto the macula, the part of the retina that lets us see detail. The fluid makes the macula swell, which blurs vision. I have had 2 laser treatments along with monthly injections into my eyes, also with the chance of full-blown surgery in the future as well. I'm taking it one day at a time. :)
Please support my commitment and donate to my Walk fundraising efforts today, or better yet, walk with me! Your gift will make a difference for millions of people affected by this devastating, life-threatening disease, including myself.