My name is Mike and I am 30 years old. I was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at the age of 2. At the time of my diagnosis my blood sugar was 1,400 (I was in a diabetic coma for two days). I currently live in North Ridgeville with my wife Kristy. We are expecting our first child on February 3rd (which is only fitting because we are die hard Cleveland Browns Fans and February 3rd is Super Bowl Sunday). The other day my wife asked me what happens if the Browns are in the Super Bowl and she went in to labor? I told hear that we have nothing to worry about.
One of the things Type I Diabetes taught me from an early age is not to make excuses. I can remember people telling me that you will have a different life style, but at the end of the day we are all different.
Even though I had people telling me negative things, I never let my diabetes get in the way of what I wanted to do. Growing up, I played baseball, basketball and football all the way through high school. Yes, I would have to monitor my blood sugar a little more but it still did not stop me from doing the things I love to do. To this day I still play basketball and have become an avid golfer. And yes, I survived the dreaded college years parents of diabetic children often talk about. And no, they were not dreaded years for me.
There have been moments when having type 1 has brought back a memory that has made me laugh. I think the best one I have is the time the police were called on me for basically being a diabetic. When I was in high school, I was at a restaurant with a group of friends. Before we ate, I went to the bathroom to take a shot of insulin. Well, one of the employees walked in and thought I was doing drugs. When I got back to the table and started eating next thing I knew the cops were there. It ended up being a laughing matter but from that point on I did wear some type of Type I identification.
On a more serious note, we know, that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Its onset has nothing to do with lifestyle and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. The pancreas just stops producing insulin. It doesn’t discriminate. Type I doesn’t care whether you are a toddler, going off to college, or having a busy career. Half the people diagnosed with Type I today are children, the other half are adults. Thanks to the funding of JDRF and their partnership with industry leaders around the globe to push the research, the children diagnosed today will grow up to be adults.
Managing type 1 diabetes is an ongoing challenge – the multiple finger pokes and insulin injections are really just the tip of the day-to-day struggles. There is the constant balancing act of insulin and food as well as the need to be aware of your body in the event of extreme high or extreme low blood sugars. That is just a short version of Type I, now I’d like to share with you a little about JDRF.
The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications through the support of research. This mission has been the focus at JDRF for over 40 years. JDRF IS the leading funder and advocate of type 1 science, and will lead us to a cure. JDRF is committed to serving people through every stage of diagnosis, from those living with this disease as well as those who have not yet been diagnosed. Every dollar that JDRF raises makes a difference for people with Type 1 diabetes. Approximately 80% of all JDRF expenditures go straight to research or research-related education. JDRF doesn’t just fund basic research – they support scientific discoveries and translate them into solutions in an effort to better treat and prevent type 1 diabetes. JDRF is funding research in 18 countries. One of the biggest testaments to the movement of JDRF in the research field is the fact that JDRF is funding over 50 clinical trials currently-which is the most important part of the research development process. Standards of care are truly advanced through these trials, and that number has grown to be the biggest it has been over the past few years.
Why become involved in JDRF? Because at the end of the day you are helping more than just the people you love. After having Type I Diabetes for over 28 years I have experienced some complications from the disease. If it were not for people like you and organizations like JDRF I would probably be telling a different story. So don’t’ just think about the person you are affecting but think of all of the people worldwide you have an impact on.
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