Dear Friends and Family,
A year and five months ago, our now 10 year old son Yehuda was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system suddenly attacks and destroys the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. Yehuda did nothing to cause this to happen, there is no way we could have prevented it, and currently there is no cure. Because his pancreas can no longer produce insulin, Yehuda must inject insulin into his body multiple times daily in order to live. However, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, and even with intensive disease management, a significant part of the day is still spent with either high or low blood sugar levels, placing him at risk for devastating complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and blindness. In order to keep his blood sugar levels within his target range Yehuda has to prick his finger about 10 times a day, carefully monitor every piece of food or drink that enters his mouth, and calculate his insulin needs—day and night. Every day Abby and I watch our sweet boy struggle with the enormous burden of this disease. He never gets a day off!
Four months ago Yehuda received his insulin pump which will now be his sole source of insulin to his body. The pump will make his life a bit easier and afford him a bit more independence from the constant questioning, supervision, hovering and nagging of a nervous adult. But, he still must be vigilant… he never gets a day off!
At the very young age of 10 Yehuda has been forced to mature to a level far beyond his years. He understands that he doesn’t have the freedom to run out the door to recess with his friends without first poking his finger to check his blood sugar. He understands that during his hockey games he has to come out periodically and poke his finger, if his blood sugar is too high or too low he stays on the bench. Yehuda understands that he can’t run through the kitchen behind his brother and sisters grabbing a snack from the counter on the way out the door to play without first stopping to poke his finger, count the carbs and inject insulin. He understands that sometimes we have to wake him from his sleep and give him juice because his blood sugar dropped too low during the night and without the sugar he wouldn’t wake up. He understands that it is a matter of life and death and he bravely takes on the added weight to his childhood. But sometimes the injection of his cgm hurts too much, or the sleepless nights make him cranky and late one too many times, or the stress and the weight of constantly juggling the factors involved in keeping himself alive are just too much. But even then, He never gets a day off!
On April 9, 2016 our family team “Yehuda’s Goalies” will be joining thousands of other families, friends and supporters of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) at the 2016 ONE WALK. JDRF is the only global diabetes foundation with a strategic plan to end Type 1 diabetes. JDRF has been vitally instrumental in funding some of the most recent advances and innovations in T1D research such as the “artificial pancreas”, encapsulation, smart insulin, stem cell therapies and prevention. The diversified, dynamic research of JDRF is key to moving us toward a world where Yehuda can sleep, eat, exercise, and live without the constant lingering threat of T1D to his life, a world without Type 1 Diabetes. He never gets a day off!
PLEASE join us and become one of Yehuda’s Goalies. Help us protect the goal, a world without T1D, because Yehuda deserves a day off!
Please click on “JOIN” to join our team and walk with us on April 9th. If you are not able to walk with us please click on “DONATE” to help Yehuda. With your support, we will help JDRF turn Type One into Type None.
With extreme warmth and gratitude we thank you,
Yehuda, Abby and Morris