Join me in the fight to create a world without type 1 diabetes!
A few days before Christmas 2010, our six year-old daughterLibby was hospitalized and diagnosed with type 1 (or juvenile) diabetes.Our family was devastated and frightened.We soon learned that type 1 diabetes is adisease in which the body attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells ofthe pancreas.Without these cells andthe insulin they make, Libby cannot get energy from the food she eats.So long as there is no cure, she will livewith this disease for the rest of her life.
Type 1 diabetes is relentless.Unlike type 2 diabetes, it cannot be managedwith diet, exercise, or oral medication.Libby gets her insulin through a pump that must be reinserted into herabdomen or back every three days.Shemust count the carbohydrates in everything she eats, and much of her food mustbe weighed or otherwise measured.Everyday, Libby pricks her finger 8 to 10 times to test her blood glucoselevel.Sarah and I also check her while she sleeps, trying to keep her blood sugar regulated during the night.Despite our best efforts, she was recently hospitalized with a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis when her insulin pump unexpectedly stopped working while she slept.
If Libby’s blood sugar gets too low, she risks fainting,seizures, coma, and death.If her bloodsugar stays persistently high, long-term complications include blindness,kidney failure, heart disease, and nerve damage.Evenwith careful management, type 1 diabetics face shortened life expectancy andincreased risk of everything from stroke to limb amputation.
Luckily for us, Libby is as brave as she is beautiful.She does all of her own glucose testing andendures the finger-pricking and insulin pump changes with good cheer.But type I diabetes has changed her life –and ours – forever.
As a result, our family has decided to participate in the Walkto Cure Diabetes, the largest annual fundraising event sponsored by theJuvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).Founded by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, the JDRF remainsthe only major diabetes organization focused exclusively focused on research,contributing over $900 million since its inception in 1970.
We hope you’ll help us show Libby how many of our family andfriends care for her by joining us on our family’s JDRF walk team.This year’s walk will take place at 9:30a.m. Saturday, September 27that the Shops at Riverwoods in Provo, UT.
Whether you can attend the walk or not, we hope you’ll helppush type 1 diabetes research forward by making a contribution to the JDRF.