I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was eighteen months old. Now I am eighteen years old and I still have it. There has been more then one time when it seemed like a cure might be coming, but the ingenuity of the human body's defenses make a universal cure more complicated then it seems. So now I'm looking at a future with diabetes.
This isn't anywhere near as scary as it was at eighteen moths. Huge progress has been made. I have an insulin pump that makes delivering insulin incredibly easy, allowing me to react to my body at a moments notice. New pumps are coming out all the time, some of the new prototypes look extremely promising. The insulin I take now is more effective then what was widely used when I was diagnosed. When you take in all of these factors and add in the tremendous regime of personal care my parents have given to me, the future looks pretty good. Based on my recent check ups at the doctors, it's entirely possible for me to live a normal life span with few additional health problems. This was not the case for most diabetics when I was diagnosed. I owe most of this to you. To everyone who has given time and money to help JDRF in their efforts to improve treatments for type 1 diabetes. You have given me this future. I can not even begin to explain how grateful I am for this.
Here is the thing though, I'm still not happy with this future. I'm not happy with living at almost the same quality of life as people without diabetes. I want to be a person without diabetes. At the very least I'd like to be a person who never has to worry about his diabetes. If I can't get a new pancreas I'd really like an artificial one that doesn't need to me to tell it what to do to keep me healthy. That seems like a lot to ask. That seems like a lot of progress to be made. But it will be made. You can make all of that happen by doing what some of you have been doing for the majority of my life. Generously giving your time and money to continue to make my life easier and more comfortable every passing year. Thank you so much for all you do, and I look forward to seeing many of you at the JDRF walk this year.
To join our team, click the join team link below. We will be gathering at the Milwaukee County Zoo at 8:30 am near the green and white striped family tent. Look for the green dinosaur on the Team Gunthersaurus sign. Team t-shirts will be provided to walkers with a cool velociraptor skeleton and our team mission, “Let’s make diabetes extinct!” To make a team donation, click on the "Donate" button at the top of this page or if you would like to make your gift to one of the team members please click on their name below.