Dear Family and Friends,
As you all know, I have had diabetes for almost 3 years, since I was 14 years old. Having been diagnosed with diabetes as a freshman in high school was really a struggle for me. I have known only a few short days of high school without diabetes. Most of you know that I have not had your typical diabetes story and diagnosis. We are still trying to figure out what type of diabetes I have. I am now on insulin 4 to 7 times per day. I cannot eat if I don’t take a shot. Sometimes I take insulin and it still doesn’t work. There are days that I can’t get my blood sugars under 200, 300 and 400 mg/dl. It makes you feel so horrible and crummy. Tired, and achy. It makes you feel as if you have the flu. It can cause you to produce ketones. They can make you really sick and even cause death.
Diabetics live a very difficult life. We try to make it as normal as possible, though. It’s not always easy. It’s pretty bad when the school nurse knows you by your first name, and she can recognize you out of 900 students. It’s bad when you have to visit her 2-5 times a day. It’s bad that when you don’t check your blood sugars every couple of hours, you have no idea what is happening inside your body. We do this everyday, all day. We do it in our sleep and on our vacations. We do it in school and in work. We do it in play. We do it well into adulthood and even to death, unless we find a cure.
There are days when we can’t get our blood sugars to stay above 50 mg/dl. We have to carry so much stuff with us just to keep us safe and healthy. We carry glucose tabs, glucaon kits in case we pass out from low blood sugar. Insulin and syringes, insulin pens. Juice boxes, meters, test strips. Snacks that might save our lives. There is a fine balance between treating a low and over treating that low. We suffer everyday with not knowing what way our blood sugars are going to go. Will they be stable and good? Will they stay at 130 all day? Will I see 30 on my meter? Will I be at 450 and stuck there, despite my multiple attempts to bring it down? We are lucky with all the technology we have. They have a CGMS (continuous glucose monitoring system), but insurance companies, generally, don’t cover it, as they feel it is still experimental. We have insulin pumps, where you only have to take 1 shot every 2 or 3 days. Diabetes is so expensive. You have got test strips, lancets, ketone strips, alcohol wipes, sharps container, syringes or pen needles. You have to pay for pump supplies.
We need to save people from complications such as blindness, amputations, and neuropathy. What we need is for people with diabetes to stop getting labeled as drug addicts, and food addicts. We did not cause our diabetes. Yes, we can eat that. We take shots everyday just to stay a live, and because of that people assume we do drugs. We can put a stop to that. We can help find a cure. You are that help.
The point I’m trying to make is that having diabetes is hard. There are millions of people around the world, in many different countries, that have diabetes. Babies, toddlers, teenagers, old people, have diabetes. It has no age limit. We need to find a cure and to do that we need to raise money. You can help us help find that cure. By donating whatever you can, be it $1 or a cent, that might be all that we need and you might just be our cure. We really need your help. Not just me. For all the people living with this horrible disease. I’m asking for your help. You can walk with me and be apart of my team; you can donate just $1. Every little bit helps, and no amount is too small.
Think about this for a moment, please. What would you do if your 13-month-old baby were just diagnosed with insulin dependant diabetes? What would you do if they couldn’t talk and they couldn’t recognize low blood sugar episodes? What would you do if they couldn’t tell that their blood sugars are high and they feel crummy? You can help stop that and you can make parents feel hope again. You can give them back something, which was unjustly taken from them. You can be our cure. And for that I thank you.