Welcome to our JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Team Page for Rylan's Rally!
Rylan was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes when he was 7 years old and in the first grade. The picture attached to this was probably taken about six months after his diagnosis. That means we just "celebrated" his five year anniversary of his diagnosis date back in January of this year, as Rylan is 12 now. Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin. There can be a "honeymoon" period until it completely stops producing any/all insulin. Rylan enjoyed that for about one year. This meant he didn't use as much insulin every day. The cause of Type I has yet to be determined but they believe there are genetic and environmental factors. It does NOT have anything to do with diet or lifestyle. Rylan would need still need insulin if he exercised ALL DAY long and ate only vegetables. Type I and Type II are very separate diseases.
Rylan has to prick his fingers up to six times a day, sometime more, sometimes a little less, and we often check him in the middle of the night as well. Sometimes he sleeps through it, sometimes he doesn't. He also has to replace an inset approximately twice a week. The inset is a fairly large needle that injects a smaller plastic tubing into his body, which is how Rylan receives the insulin he needs. We did the math and that adds up to 11,440 pokes since his diagnosis date. Or 2,288 pokes every year! That's minimum!
We talk alot as a family that it "could be worse" but Type I Diabetes is a chronic disease, especially if we aren't able to keep Rylan's blood sugar levels in a "good" or healthy range (between 90 & 150). The problem with that is even when we're doing everything that the doctors/professionals tell us to do, sometimes we don't have control over what Rylan's body is deciding to do. There are so many things that affect his blood sugar, such as being anxious before a game, too little or too much exercise, not enough sleep and growth spurts. Therefore, we can't always control, or keep, Rylan's blood sugar levels within a range that everyone defines as "healthy".
When we were writing this letter, we asked Rylan what frustrated him most about having diabetes. This year he said.............
Our biggest goal as a family is teaching Rylan how to manage this disease for the rest of his life. Although we do hope for a cure, we also hope for continued technology that will help Rylan be able to manage this chronic disease without interfering too much with the everyday tasks of a 12 year old boy! That is why this year, we ask again for your continued support to our family and to JDRF with their goal of improving the lives of all people affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D) by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D.
There are several different ways that you can help us this year!
You can come walk with us and the rest of the Team at the "Walk to Cure Diabetes" in Missoula, Montana at Dornblaser Field on April 13, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
You can send a tax deductible contribution in any amount payable to JDRF to our home address: P.O. Box 75, Noxon, Montana 59853-0075. We will be happy to deliver your donation to JDRF the day of the Walk.
You can go online to "www.jdrf.org" to donate. Go to the "Get Involved" tab; Click on "Walk to Cure"; Find the two Walks in Montana; choose "Missoula"; from there you can search for a team. My team name this year is "Rylan's Rally"! Feel free to donate under MY name and not my sister (Delaney) or my dad or any of my other teammates! It all goes to the same place anyway!
Feel free to share this with anyone you know! I am open to questions about Type I and our experience with it so far and the more we educate people, the better we all are!!
We appreciate any amount you feel you can afford. Thanks for reading about Rylan and our journey so far with Type I Diabetes. We know it's far from over, but with your help, we're getting closer!