As a younger brother of Gavin, who haves type 1 diabetes (T1D), it’s difficult to watch him live with this disease. Every day he needs at least 12 finger pricks, and he needs insulin 24 hours a day. Growing up has been hard for him, even though you couldn’t tell a kid with T1D, from a perfectly healthy kid, just by looking at them. My brother has missed out on countless kid stuff. Gavin cannot monitor his own blood sugar yet, so mom has to accompany him to all birthday parties, Cub Scout events, sports and school events, which is a little embarrassing for him. Being a kid is hard enough, but having to juggle homework, sports, friends and a disease is even harder.
Gavin doesn't have the energy to keep up with my younger brother and I. He always has to stop, rest and get a snack. He often has to sit out during gym class, soccer and t-ball because of high or low blood sugar. He sits on the sidelines feeling completely exhausted and sick while he watches me play. He often says, "my legs are too exhausted to move or I am so hungry." If he makes these statements, those are sure signs his blood sugar is dangerously low. Mom runs over, gives him a finger prick, and checks his blood sugar. In school, I see Gavin in the nurse’s office more often then in class. Gavin has to stop whatever he is doing 8 times during the school day to test his blood sugar and adjust his insulin. Sometimes his blood sugar is so bad Mom has to come and get him.
Type 1 diabetes is a disease with many misconceptions. Mainly, T1D is not something you will outgrow, once diagnosed with T1D, you have it for life. Although insulin is necessary to survive, it is not a cure. Without a cure, my brother will continue to live his life with the constant stress of checking his blood sugar and taking Insulin. Worse, the threat of passing out or even falling into a coma because of low blood sugar can be a daily fear. This will continue to be a huge part of his life without a cure.
This year I am the captain of our walk team, "Gavin's Walkers,” for the Walk to Cure Diabetes on October 6, 2013. With the help of our friends and family, we are raising money to go towards research to find a cure and better treatments. We would love your help in making this dream of a life without diabetes a reality. Here are a few ways you can help:
You can join our team, raise donations, and walk with us at Yonkers Raceway October 6, 2013. If everyone, who joined our team got 5 additional donations from friends and family (no matter how small) that would be wonderful. You can join our team as a "Virtual Walker" and just raise money or make a donation.
***Personal checks can be made out to: JDRF and I will hand them in the day of the walk.
Please forward this letter to your family and friends to help us raise money to help find a cure and better treatments. We cannot thank everyone enough for your generosity. Every dollar that we raise, betters the odds for thousands of kids with type 1.