October 03, 2017
BENEFITING: Joslin Diabetes Center
EVENT DATE: Oct 08, 2017
I am thrilled to be running the 2017 Chicago Marathon in support of The Joslin Diabetes Center to raise money for a cause that is very close to my heart.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 9 years old. A woman came into my school to talk to us about the condition, describing the symptoms that lead to her diagnosis. She was always thirsty but could never quench her thirst. She constantly needed to use the bathroom. She was more tired than usual. She lost her appetite, and consequently, started losing weight.
Less than one week after I listened to this woman speak, I began to notice these same symptoms in myself. At 9 years old, I effectively diagnosed myself with diabetes… and so did mother. Because we were both so knowledgeable and observant, my mother took me to the hospital for a blood test right away. It was painful but I stayed strong… After all, I had to prepare for a lifetime of syringes and injections.
I was lucky. Because I was diagnosed early, my blood sugar only reached a level of 450, which comparatively, is not that high. But not all children or adults are this fortunate. Complications of excessively high blood-sugar levels are dangerous.
Throughout the years, I have learned to manage my diabetes by counting carbohydrates, planning meals and exercise, giving myself insulin shots before every meal or snack (which amounts to anywhere between 4 and 8 injections each day), changing catheter sites in my stomach every week, and constantly listening to my body.
When I started running after college, I noticed that it drastically lowered my blood sugar levels and helped me to improve control of my diabetes. Running long distances with Type 1 Diabetes is certainly a challenge. But in the past three years alone, my ability to control my diabetes while running long distance races has improved exponentially thanks to organizations like Joslin. During my first marathon, I had to stop and check my blood sugar at the first water stop. My sugar levels were extremely high, but without insulin, I had to run the entire 26.2 miles feeling nauseous and uneasy until it went down.
With the development of the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), which I started using a few years ago, I am able to monitor my blood-sugar constantly without having to stop or carry bulky objects like my Blood Glucose Meter. Advancements in research and development of new technologies such as these have made my life (as well as millions of other diabetics’ lives) much easier. They have also made many strenuous athletic endeavors safer and more attainable for those with diabetes.
I am a teacher.
I am a mentor.
I am a marathon runner.
AND… I am doing all of this with Type 1 Diabetes.
Organizations like Joslin have made that possible through clinical care programs, research and development of new diabetes technologies, treatments, and prevention and education programs. Eventually, we hope these will lead to a cure.
I am running the 2017 Chicago Marathon for all those children diagnosed with diabetes who, like me, came to a scary realization that their life would change drastically.
I am running to prove that anything is possible. Thanks to groups like Joslin, Type 1 Diabetes should not and will not be a barrier preventing diabetic athletes from achieving their goals and dreams.
I am running to help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Your donation to Joslin Diabetes Center will help bring me closer to this goal.
Founded in 1898, Joslin Diabetes Center is world-renowned for its deep expertise in diabetes treatment and research. Joslin is dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes and ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives.
We develop and disseminate innovative patient therapies and scientific discoveries throughout the world. Joslin is an independent, non-profit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and a federally-funded Diabetes Research Center.
All of the money raised by the Team Joslin program supports the High Hopes Fund here at Joslin Diabetes Center. This fund is unrestricted and supports the Center's greatest needs. These funds ultimately contribute to Joslin’s capacity to prevent, treat and cure diabetes through cutting-edge research, comprehensive patient care and pioneering education programs.