I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 15 years ago. I am running in the NYC Marathon this November to help raise money for the world's leading charitable organization related to type 1 - the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
Here is a little background:
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas loses the ability to produce insulin—a hormone essential to turning food into energy. It strikes both children and adults suddenly and is unrelated to diet and lifestyle. It requires constant carbohydrate counting, blood-glucose testing and lifelong dependence on injected insulin. With Type 1 diabetes there are no days off, and there is no cure.
I am very lucky to be born in a day and age where diabetes research has led to technological advancements such as the insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. I credit these two devices for my full and active life, and healthy pregnancies (before the invention of insulin in 1921 type 1 diabetes was a quick death sentence).
While the incredible advances made by modern science have made diabetes less of a burden it is still that: Every single time you see me eat or drink i’m doing mental calculations of carbs consumed and insulin in my body. I’ve woken up countless times in the middle of the night sick with unexplained low blood sugar and have found myself nauseous and exhausted when dealing with high blood sugars caused by hormones, insulin pump malfunctions or incorrect carbohydrate counting. A cure would mean so much to me.
In the past year I have started to have conversations with my five-year old about what my electronic medical devices are and why I need them. I’m nervous to use the word “diabetes” around her because of society’s pre-conceived notions of what diabetes is and the desire to show my children that I am strong and healthy despite my disease. I’m really proud to use this marathon as an opportunity do just that!
JDRF’s highest priority remains funding research to deliver a cure for T1D and its complications. At the same time, JDRF is also focused on developing better treatments that will transform the way people with T1D treat the disease today, in order to help them live healthier lives now and in the future. Finally, JDRF also seeks to prevent T1D, to keep future generations from developing the disease.
This November, while I run the New York City Marathon I will be raising money for the JDRF to help them search for a cure for this difficult disease. Please help me by donating here to this very worthwhile organization, every dollar you give is 100% tax deductible. I am truly grateful for your support. Thank you!