Hello! This year again, 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.
Our son, Austin, was diagnosed with this disease on August 2, 2009, at the age of 6. His pancreas was attacked by his immune system, leaving him unable to make his own insulin. Without insulin, he had no way to turn his food into energy. He became very sick and was rushed to the hospital in a diabetic emergent state. Treatment with IV fluids and insulin saved his life. Austin requires insulin to survive every day, and will continue to do so, until a cure is found. He needs finger sticks to check his blood sugar 6-12 times a day, and frequently at night, to ensure that he is getting the right amount of insulin. Amounts need to be adjusted if he runs high or low. Growth spurts, sickness, stress, and physical activity all play a role in his blood sugar levels. Diabetes is constantly on our mind, with every bite of food, everything he drinks, every sickness, and every activity. It's a continuous balancing act, dealing with high sugars, low sugars, and the many factors that affect them. A huge fear is that he will go low during the night and not be able to tell us, and then not wake up due to the low blood sugar. We usually set our alarm clock and one of us will get up and do at least one check in the middle of the night. As his mother, I wish I could just take it all away, all the finger pricks, the needle insertions for his insulin pump, and the constant carb calculations. But for now, until a cure is found, all I can do is fight for him. I will fight for his kidneys, his eyes, and his heart, the organs that take the hard blows when blood sugars are not kept in healthy ranges over the course of a lifetime. Kidney failure, blindness, heart attack, stroke, and nerve damage are all possible complications that can result from diabetes. My personal fight is also in doing all I can to get him closer to a cure. I believe it is possible! And I believe it can happen in his lifetime!!
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. More than 80% of every dollar goes directly toward funding clinical research and education based on clinical research. Current clinical trials and research projects can be found on the JDRF website, including the Artificial Pancreas Project!
We have placed our trust in this organization to help a cure become a reality for our son! You can help be a part of the force that will get JDRF closer to finding a cure. Your donation will get Austin and so many like him closer to a cure!
Come join our team! You can walk with us, collect donations from your friends, make your own online donation, or checks can be made out to JDRF. Email me or send a Facebook message for details if you would prefer to send a check.
Thank you for your support to this cause so close to our heart!