Welcome to our JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes team page!
In type 1 diabetes, a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, which is essential to the body’s ability to get energy from food. It strikes both children and adults suddenly and is unrelated to diet or lifestyle. Managing T1D 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, I had 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. :) That is why I am passionate about this Walk and the need to raise funds to help find a cure!
JDRF is the only global organization with a strategic research plan to fight T1D. Every donation, big or small, from donors like you, allows JDRF to fund the critical research needed to find a cure.
Will you accept the challenge to make a difference in your community by joining us? Just click “Join This Team” to become a team member and start fundraising. Or click “Donate to This Team” to make a donation.