On March 29, 2012, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). I was six years old and in kindergarten. My life and my family's life changed forever. I am now eight years old and in third grade.
T1D is an autoimmune disease. The beta cells in my pancreas have been destroyed which means my pancreas no longer produces insulin. For this reason, I must take insulin to stay alive.
Type 1 Diabetes has no cure! Many people believe that insulin is a cure, but it is not. Diabetes needs constant attention. For me, this means at least four insulin injections daily, and testing my blood sugar by pricking my fingers for blood four or more times a day. I must carefully balance my food (carb) intake and exercise which can help regulate my blood sugar levels. The hardest part is avoiding hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, which can be life threatening. My parents check my blood sugar and often feed me during the night, every night, to make sure I am not dropping dangerously low while I sleep. I keep my "sugar bag" with me wherever I go. It holds my emergency supplies in case my blood sugar swings too low or too high.
Over the past year, I have made progress in recognizing my symptoms of hypo- and hyperglycemia, checking my own blood sugar, giving myself insulin shots, counting carbs and making snack/food choices in my recommended range. I don't have an insulin pump yet but I just got a CGM (Dexcom G4). This device is a new learning curve for my family but a tool that should help give me more independence and keep me safer.
This fall, I will participate in my third JDRF WALK. I would really love for you to support my team and even join me in the Walk to Cure Diabetes on September 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) raises funds to cure, treat and prevent Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Their goal is to improve the lives of every person affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating and preventing T1D. More than 80 percent of JDRF's funds directly support diabetes research and research-related education.
So now more than ever, you can make a real difference in my life and the lives of all people with Type 1 Diabetes. Please join my team, Lillee's Diabetes Buddies by clicking this link http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/Lillee.
Diabetes still stinks but most days I handle it with a smile and lots of grace. Every day, I pray for a cure! Thank you so much for your support! I hope to see you at the Walk! If you can't be physically present, you may participate as a virtual walker.