Nicole ( Top Right) and Abriana ( Bottom Center) --January 2013
We will turn Type One into Type None
Welcome to our JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Team Page!
Formally Nicole & Karina Cure Busters & Co.) is participating in the Annual Ron Santo’s Walk to Cure Diabetes with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) as our 12th walk on Sunday, October 5, 2014. We will be walking along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront (Montrose /Lakefront) and would appreciate your support! Our team has dedicated our efforts to raise money and .80 cents of every dollar donated is put towards research. Help us to honor Ron Santo's incredible legacy ! Each year, our team is joined by new walkers along with previous walkers and we appreciate all the support and enthusiasm. This is indeed a great cause! We strongly believe each step gets closer to the reality of a cure and provides a better quality of life in diabetes management.
In July 2003, our daughter Nicole and her friend Karina, at age 4 and 5, were diagnosed with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes (T1D), they met each other at Children's Memorial Hospital and have been friends since. To survive, people with T1D must have insulin delivered by injection for the rest of their lives. Today, at age 15 and 16, both are in high schools, they have lost count on how many thousands of times they have given their own blood tests by pricking their fingers 10 or more times per day and with 6 or more insulin shots daily. Even with our best attempts of controlling their glucose blood sugar, monitoring her meal intake, carbohydrates counting, exercise levels, and insulin injection doses, they still could not avoid some dangerously low & high glucose blood sugars. Our third girl Abriana, was diagnosed at age 8 with T1D, she is now 11 years old. We dedicate our walk to all 3 girls. We will always hope for a better tomorrow, a better quality of life for Nicole, Karina, Abriana and all the children and adults living with Type 1 diabetes today, we will continue to walk and raise money until the day a cure is found.
Here is Nicole's words
"Dear Friends, Family, & Neighbors:
For the last 11 years my mom has tried to explain my life story through her eyes and words, but to be honest, my story is a whole lot different than hers. Type 1 Diabetes is such a common disease and according to the American Diabetes Association, around 9.3% of the American population suffer from Diabetes (Type 1 & Type 2), although I still believe that only a Diabetic truly knows what Diabetes is.
What is Diabetes?
When I asked a few friends this question, I wasn’t surprised to hear that many of them thought it's a disease you get from eating the wrong foods and being overweight, that you need to take pills or injections to control.
Wrong, but I can’t blame them because not even my family could fully explain what it’s like to be a diabetic or how you get it, because there really is no reason.
Diabetes is what happens after your pancreas decides it doesn’t want to function properly in your body anymore and produce insulin to move sugars throughout your body to make energy. For some diabetics their pancreas’ may still partially work, but in my case it’s as good as gone.
I got diagnosed just after I turned 4 years old, nobody can really explain why though. Maybe genetics, but maybe not.
Diabetes is 110 times more complicated than what non-diabetics think it is. I like math, it’s my favorite subject but I could never solve the most complicated math problem there is. That one that you put so much time into and it’s so stressful and frustrating, but you’ll never be able to solve it. That’s kind of like Diabetes, only its worse.
Just like everybody else though I still have good days and bad days, they just really depend more on good blood sugars and bad blood sugars. A typical good day for me involves only about 8-10 tests with blood sugars ranging from 100 to 160 with few to no lows or highs. On these days I'm much happier and act more like myself. My bad days vary depending on if I'm low or high, but both require about double the amount of tests in a day. On days when my blood sugar runs high most of the day, I feel lazy, tired to the point where I could pass out, and extremely thirsty until I can bring my number down to a normal range with numerous correctional injections. Low days are the worst, when I'm low I don’t talk like myself, I don’t act like myself, I feel very weak and shaky, and get a weird unexplainable feeling in my stomach. Many low days end with me curled up in my bed in tears or angry. In tears because of how weak and not myself and terrible I feel. Angry because everyone needs to stop what they're doing to help me because my body can’t take care of itself and I’m too weak to do things on my own. Angry because Diabetes always wins in the fight over my body, no matter how much juice I unwillingly have to drink or insulin I have to inject into my body because even after 11 years Diabetes still hits me with surprise attacks I never could’ve expected coming.
And it really just sucks most of all because there’s nothing I can do even when I watch myself so very carefully and try my best to take care of myself and I'm scared because it’s really no joke at all when I say Diabetes takes control of my ENTIRE body. Whether it's a seizure, or not being able to walk by myself, or not talking straight, or just not being able to function like a normal person.
Imagine hitting a brick wall with a hammer so many times a day, eventually that bricks walls going to fall down, wouldn’t you think? In this case, every bad number is a hit to the wall with the hammer and my organs, specifically my kidneys are the brick wall that have to keep being repaired and built stronger so it doesn’t fall apart.
Although I will admit Diabetes has taught me a few important lessons,
one, to take care of yourself because almost everything you do to your body has either a positive or negative effect that will eventually affect you
two, not to take things for granted because there will always be someone else who has it worse than you
and three, no matter how hard it gets to never ever give up or stop fighting because if I did, I would never get to do all the things I love, including playing volleyball, hanging out with friends, and eating what I want when I want.
I also will never stop being thankful for all my friends and family who have and still are giving me nonstop support and staying hopeful for the day a cure is found and all the diabetics can finally feel free again.
With Love and Appreciation,
We would love to have many friends and family to join our team in the JDRF walk, raising money that will speed scientist towards that cure. Every walker, and every dollar, brings us that much closer. Over 40,000 people all walk for one cure. This event truly is not only fun, but extremely meaningful.
If you can’t join us for the walk, we would greatly appreciate if you consider supporting our team by donating online www.walk.jdrf.org. Select Illinois/Chicago and our Family Team Name or send a tax-deductible on-line donation or via mail made payable to JDRF/Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes. Checks can be mailed to: May Meerbrey 4816 W. Balmoral Avenue , Chicago, IL. 60630 .
Please remember, no matter how big or small, $5 or $100, you are helping to make a difference and your support means so much to us.With the hope a cure for T1D is within reach and Nicole, Karina and Abriana may be able to be cured sometime in their lives. We will never give up. This is why we are walking; this is why we are reaching out for your support. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to those of you continuously reaching out to walk on this journey with us. We treasure each and every one of you.
As always, we really appreciate you for understanding our concern, sharing our hope, and providing support. Together we will cure this dreaded disease.
With sincere thanks, The Meerbrey Family –May,Ken,Simone,Nicole,Monique