Welcome to my JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes personal fundraising page! Type 1 diabetes is a is a life-threatening autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin; the body requires insulin in order 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.
Most of you know that I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10. Having lived with it for 12 years as of this May means that I have endured about 35,000 finger pricks and 30,000 insulin shots. This may seem like quite a bit, however, it is simply a part of my daily routine. Not only do I hope for a cure for myself, but also for the other young children whom are diagnosed everyday. Each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults (approximately 80 people per day) are diagnosed with T1D in the U.S. A cure could prevent them from experiencing some of the difficulties that I and other type 1 diabetics have encountered.
Low and high blood sugars are a great example of the daily difficulties associated with this disease. They are very dangerous; they put stress on the body and make it work in overtime. Fortunately, I am one of the few that can feel a low and, sometimes, a high blood sugar. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, makes me confused, sweaty, and extremely shaky. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, causes dehydration and those of you know me well would agree that I tend to get rather irritable and angry. Although I may not express my gratitude as often as I should, I value that I have family, friends, and colleagues who can recognize these symptoms. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “Maddie your cheeks are red, have you checked your blood sugar?”. On the way home from class if I check my blood sugar and it is low, my sister will stop at the nearest store and refuse to let me go in to buy my own juice. If I have a low at work, all it takes is a simple text and Shelby will be at my desk with her whole stash of candy. While I am fortunate in this way, I understand that other type 1 diabetics may not be blessed with as great of a support group as I am surrounded with.
As I mentioned earlier, the cure for T1D is not only important for myself, but for those children and adults who must manage the disease without daily support. JDRF is the largest nongovernmental funder of type 1 diabetes research! Please join our team to participate in this year’s Walk to raise funds to improve the lives of millions of people with type 1 diabetes. The money raised will help JDRF advance its strategic research plan to end T1D.