This is another charity near and dear to us as our niece, Emma, was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes (T1D). Here is their story, as told by her parents.
"When our daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age eight, we were shocked and uneducated about the disease. Over the next several months we learned things about 'low' blood sugars and how that can cause an immediate 'scare' for the diabetic and loved ones; we learned how 'high' blood sugars can leave long term damage on vital organs; we learned that there are many medical advances towards curing the disease but that it will be with us for now; and most of all we learned that our daughter, who is deathly scared of needles, is a hundred times stronger than we are. She lives with diabetes with courage and a commitment to be healthy and not let diabetes get in the way of her dreams. But it isn't easy. She has to count every carbohydrate she eats, monitor her blood sugar many times a day and adjust insulin in response to food, exercise, stress, and excitement. Just about everything we do affects blood sugar.
It is a part of our lives and we do not let it get us down. We look to the future and pray for the day that she:
- doesn't have to prick her finger before she puts anything in her mouth
- gets invited to sleepovers without the other family being scared of her diabetes
- doesn't have the stress of wondering if she is high or low and what is the cause of it and the damage because of it
- can raise a family without it being high risk for her
We hope for the day when we don't worry about other children getting diabetes. We have that hope because of JDRF. JDRF is working tirelessly to cure, better treat, and prevent type one diabetes. Imagine an artificial pancreas that our daughter can wear so she never has to test her blood sugar or adjust her insulin on her own again. Best of all, it keeps her in a tight blood sugar control range helping to avoid life altering and fatal complications. Imagine a time when she can take a oral medication that stimulates her insulin producing cells, which are killed by diabetes, to regrow and work. She never takes insulin again. Imagine a time when people at risk for T1D can get a vaccine to prevent them from ever getting the disease. JDRF is working on all this and there is great promise.
When we give to JDRF, we know our gift is going to support ground breaking research that will one day make our hopes come true."
You can read more about the work of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on their website.