When my daughter, Jenna, was diagnosed at the age of 10 with Type 1 Diabetes, we were all in shock. Diabetes did not run in the family. We knew nothing about the disease and we were scared.
14 years after that life-changing diagnosis, my daughter is half-way through a Master’s Program in Occupational Therapy, graduated with a BS in Kinesiology, played college soccer, played high school soccer, volleyball, basketball and ran track. She has been able to do all this with a strong support group, a wonderful doctor, managing her blood sugars and having a will to know she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.
The road with this disease is not easy. There were days when Jenna said she was done with diabetes. She did not want it anymore. Those were days when her dad and I would take over everything diabetes related for her. We would count her carbs, figure out how much insulin she needed, program her pump to administer insulin and with her in the middle, we would create a Jenna sandwich hug and cry with her. Then the next day, she would pick herself up and handle her diabetes.
There are days that she wakes up with her blood sugar in the 300s. (Normal for her is between 70-150). On these days, she feels like she has the flu and it takes most of the day to start feeling better. There are days or middle of the nights that her blood sugar plummets to 50 and below and she feels awful. She needs to drink Gatorade or eat Skittles until her blood sugar levels out. She tests her blood at least 5 times per day, more on the days her blood sugar spikes or plummets for no apparent reason.
Diabetes management has come a long way since Jenna was first diagnosed. There are continuous glucose monitors, and closed systems that check glucose levels and automatically administers insulin through a pump. These advancements are made possible through research that is funded through donations and one such fund raiser is the JDRF One Walk.
Over the summer, we had the pleasure of meeting April and Brody, a mom and her 9-year old son, who was newly diagnosed with Type 1. All the emotions of when Jenna was first diagnosed came rushing back to me. We have kept in touch and encouraged them to form a team for the One Walk. This is the reason Virtual Projects has decided to join Team Brody and help him raise money and achieve his goal.
-Sheryl Öberg, Virtual Projects