My son Matthew and his family’s life changed on September 28, 2012. My granddaughter Joey was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. As her grandmother, I wanted nothing more than for her to be a healthy, happy 4 year old. I have decided that I am going to do whatever I can to help Joey so I hope that you please take a moment and read why I have chosen to take part in JDRF’s Walk to Cure Diabetes.
First of all, I'm going to give credit where credit is due... The following story about Joey was written by my daughter-in-law, Erica.
If, like me (prior to Joey's diagnosis), your knowledge of type 1 diabetes could fit comfortably on "the head of a pin" or if you think that all diabetes is type 2 diabetes, then prepare to be educated. Erica gives a very moving account of the challenges facing Joey and approximately 3 million others who live with type 1 diabetes. And after reading Joey's story, please visit http://jdrf.org/research/ and learn about JDRF's research projects.
One more piece of information worth knowing... 90% of every dollar raised by JDRF walk teams goes straight to research! Now that's impressive!
WE NEED A CURE... so please keep reading.
Welcome to Team Save Joey's Bacon Fundraising Page!!
Please take a few minutes and read Joey's story.
Joey was Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) on September 28, 2012, just 3 weeks after her 3rd birthday, but the symptoms started a month before. The insatiable drinking, and relentless urinating, the bed wetting, the bad attitude, whining and sleepiness, the inability to focus, but all things that could easily be explained away. It was the end of summer, it was hot, so she was thirsty, we had infant twins taking up a lot of mommy's time, we phased out nap, she was just fully potty trained and learning to wipe herself, she was going to preschool and the youngest in her class, she was meeting new people and life was changing.
After a couple weeks, I (Erica) really began to get concerned. I kept track of how much Joey was drinking during the day, and it was over 140 oz. I borrowed a glucometer from a friend, called the doctor's office and made an early morning appointment, and I waited until the morning to check her blood glucose, praying that her fasting blood glucose would be in range. Nope, it was 278. Normal range is 70-110 for a fasting blood sugar. One hour later, as we pulled into the dr.'s office, I checked her again and she was a 529. Normal range for 1 hr is 90-140. She never went into DKA (or diabetic ketoacidosis), which kills many people with T1D, but she easily could have, and we could have lost her before we even knew what was happening.
The next few days were a blur of pokes, shots, math and learning how to try and keep our child alive without killing her by accident, yet keep the horrific effects of type 1 diabetes at bay. It's a tightrope that T1D-ers walk, and for young children, their blood sugar numbers are so volatile and change so rapidly. You do everything you possibly can, yet it seems as though you are constantly failing. People like to tell you, that "it's okay because you don't often see the effects of elevated blood sugars for at least 10 years after diagnosis," but seriously, 10 years! She’ll be 13, not 90!
Joey has 15-20 blood sugar checks a day, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) change every 5-7 days, a pod (insulin pump) change every 2-3 days, it's all so much for a tiny 4 year old's body, and in the 6 months we had before she started on a pump she accumulated over 1,000 insulin shots. And the food part, although a challenge, is the easy part, it's everything else that's so challenging. Literally EVERYTHING effects blood glucose levels, things that just can't be controlled or predicted. You see, this disease is relentless, she can never take a break from it, never decide she just doesn't want to do it for even a little bit or she could die. And despite doing everything we possibly can do to do everything right to take care of her, about 60% of her blood glucose numbers are still out of the desired range. This disease isn't "controlled," it's managed, 24 hours a day/7 days a week, for the rest of her life, for forever.
But Joey is a resilient girl; she loves life, the beach, soccer, her family, and all things princess. She does not let T1D hold her back, and so we will press onwards as she lives a strong, energetic and outgoing life. We will keep educating and we will find a cure for Joey and all those living with T1D!! I am asking for your support. By doing so, you can help me make a difference for millions of people living with type 1 diabetes.
Did you know that:
T1D is an autoimmune disease that comes on suddenly and strikes both children and adults at any age. It is lifelong, it does not reverse, the pancreas stops producing insulin, and without giving Joey insulin, and attempting to anticipate what her needs for insulin will be, she will die. T1D has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. Joey is and has always been the healthiest eating, most active child there could be.
Those living with T1D must carefully balance insulin doses with eating and daily activities throughout the day and night. anything and everything effect the body's need for insulin.... not just food and activity, but hormones, growth, stress, sleep, dreams, emotions, sun, rain, types of foods, anything you could possibly imagine.
Those living with T1D must test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood 15-20 times a day.
As the leader of the type 1 diabetes community, JDRF unifies global efforts to cure, treat and prevent T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as possible?