Hi, my name is Sarah Gilman and this is my sister, Betsy France. My son Cody was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes almost 6 years ago on October 2nd, 2006, when he was 13 months old. I get questioned all the time about how he was dx at such a young age. Cody was sick for months and months before being dx. We knew something was wrong, but didn?t know what. He whimpered when you touched him and cried inconsolably. When he was finally diagnosed, he was finally showing the classic signs??he was lethargic and stopped walking, he was drinking a lot and he was urinating a lot.
It was a very difficult time for Cody and our family. My family (including both sets of grandparents and my sister Betsy and her family) came up to the hospital to learn everything they could to help care for Cody; which included a lot of testing each other?s blood sugars and showing my nephews (who were 6 & 9 at the time) what Cody had to now go through on a daily basis.
We knew immediately we needed the support of others outside of the family circle. When Cody and I walked into the JDRF office the week after he was diagnosed, we knew we were in the right place. The love and support we felt was instantaneous. That is when we learned about this thing called the Walk to Cure Diabetes, which just took place a week or so before Cody was diagnosed. We knew the Walk was going to be our chance to help make a difference and contribute to the future of our family.
That is when we formed Team Cody and participated in our first Walk in 2007. That first year we raised around $1300 with 19 walkers. Over the years, we have grown to about 30 walkers made up of family and friends. Three years ago we organized a Tractor Drive/Ride to raise money for our walk team. Last year we had over 80 tractors and 120 riders participate in our event and were able to raise about $7,000. In case you would like to join us, it will be held on September, 9th 2012 in Evansville, WI. Feel free to contact us for more information.
Over the past almost 6 years, we have sat around the kitchen table taking turns testing each other?making sure everyone?s blood sugar is where it should be. In November 2011, things weren?t what they should be for my nephew Ethan. I noticed that he was drinking more and going to the bathroom more than normal. When Betsy and I were talking about it, she mentioned that he had also been more tired and taking naps after school the last few weeks. She also mentioned that he had failed his school eye screening a few months back and was having trouble seeing. I thought it would be a good idea that she test his blood sugar when they got home (since she has an extra meter at her house) just to check.
Boy ?.. Were we in shock that diabetes hit our family again!
This news was not only shocking, but devastating.Ethan was diagnosed on November14th, 2011 with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10. Thankfully because of Cody, Ethan was dx early and didn?t show signs of complications. Cody was excited that his cousin had diabetes just like him. Ethan on the other hand wasn?t as excited. He was immediately sad and concerned with how it would affect his future and his ability to play sports. Ethan adjusted quickly to his new lifestyle because he had been around Cody and the disease since Cody was a baby. Every activity and meal has been a math lesson for the family. Counting carbs and figuring out the correct amount of insulin to have ??. It?s definitely a family effort!
Now that this horrible disease has affected our family again, it is even more important to get involved and find a cure. We have walked for Cody and now we walk for Cody and Ethan. We walk for all the finger pokes and shots, for the highs and lows and the good days and bad days. We walk in hopes that this horrible disease doesn?t hit our family again. JDRF and the Walk have given us hope that a cure will be found and lengthen the lives of our children and a positive hope for our families not to go through this nightmare of daily tension and fear. We walk for a Cure.
Now, more than ever, you can make a crucial difference. Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as possible and sign up to join our walk team? Together, we can make the cure a reality!