Saturday, August 27, 2011

JDRF Walkin' Again

It’s that time again…walk season…and our family and friends will be participating in JDRF’s Walk to Cure Diabetes on October 16th in Johns Creek, GA. This will be our second Walk. You can see pictures of our first Walk here and here (thank you, S!).

Everyone who knows and loves William wants a cure for Juvenile Diabetes. (Now would be really great, but I’m willing to wait a few more weeks). They all know what he goes through every day. The multiple finger stick blood tests every 2-3 hours throughout the day (and, more recently, in the middle of the night…sometimes 2-3 times). The insulin injections…usually 5 – 6 times a day, sometimes in the middle of the night (he usually sleeps through those, but not always). The sudden, frightening lows that make him feel like he is dying. The highs that make him groggy and grumpy and foggy. And having to wait to eat until after he’s gotten a BG test and an insulin shot, while everyone else around him is digging in, often half way through their meal by the time William gets to sit down and get started. Not to mention the underlying, all pervading, quiet fear that he is going to die from this disease. I don’t have the heart to even talk to him about the horrible and debilitating complications that often come with this disease, complications that become more likely the older he gets, even when we do manage to keep his BG on target (which is beyond a full time job!).

So, yeah, we really want a cure. And, we’d kinda like a better way to track BG and deliver insulin. Like, maybe a permanent shunt that delivers tiny drips of insulin directly to the bloodstream from an external pump, rather than pumps that require new sets and sites every 3-4 days or MDI's. And, while we’re at it, how about a permanent CGM that takes readings directly from the bloodstream every five minutes, rather than taking readings from fat stores that give a delayed reading so lows can still sneak up on you. Just sayin’.

But, as much as I want a cure and better treatment for William, I also want answers. Why did my son get Type 1 Diabetes? And will his brothers get it? I know there’s a genetic component, but that doesn’t explain it all. In fact, to our knowledge William is the first person on either side of our families to ever have Type 1. So, what’s the deal? We know there has to be an environmental “trigger” for Type 1 to get started, but no one is really able to say what that trigger (or triggers) is (or are). I have my suspicions about what triggered William’s Diabetes, but I would really like to hear it from the experts. What caused this disease in my son? And, how can we prevent this from happening to other kids?

So, here we are Walking again. Not just for the Cure. Not just for better Treatment. But, now, in support of some answers that will lead to Prevention. This disease is digging its nasty little claws into more and more kids, more and more families. It’s time to call a halt and say “enough is enough, you don’t get any more kids”. It’s time for Gandalf to drive his staff into the solid rock of the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and bellow at the Balrog, “YOU....SHALL NOT....PASS!”

(Okay, that may have been a little melodramatic, but you get the point).

Bottom line is, we need your help, and I am asking you, as a weary, worn out, worried mom, to please support William in this year’s Walk to Cure Diabetes. I would never ask you for more than you can comfortably do or give, but I am asking you to do or give whatever you can. ‘Cause I’m just pushy that way.

And, here’s what you can do:

  • If you are, or will be in our area on October 16th, you can join our Team and walk with us. Click here to join us, and I promise I will help you with the fundraising thing. The average Walker “only” raises about $100, so if you’ve got five friends or relatives that can give $20 each, you’re good to go (and you'll get a t-shirt to boot). Besides, it’s really kind of fun. There was even cotton candy and bouncy houses last year ;)
  • If you are not in our area or cannot Walk with us on that day, but would still like to raise funds for Team ThunderBear, you can register as a “virtual” Walker. Click here to join as a Virtual Walker.
  • If want to Walk but are not in our area, you can register for a Walk near you. Better yet, you can create your own Team and ask others to join you. (Never underestimate the power of moral support!). Click here to find a Walk near you and/or create a team.

William’s initial fund-raising goal for this years’ Walk is $1,000 (last year, thanks to our friends, family and co-workers, we were able to raise over $2,000). Every little bit adds up, so please don’t hesitate if you can only give a little. A little bit of moolah multiplied by lots of loving folks equals funding for research. And, we need funding for research to get rid of this particular Balrog.

So please, please, please do what you can.

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