Type 1 Diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a disorder of the body’s immune system — that is, its system for protecting itself from viruses, bacteria or any “foreign” substances. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to stay alive, as it is a life-long condition. This means undergoing multiple injections daily, or having insulin delivered through an insulin pump, and testing their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. People with diabetes must also carefully balance their food intake and their exercise to regulate their blood sugar levels, in an attempt to avoid hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, which can be life threatening.
As many as 3 million Americans may have type 1 diabetes, and each year, more than 15,000 children are diagnosed. Diabetic children have a lower projected lifespan by 14 years and are more likely to suffer blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure (requiring dialysis), nerve damage, and 2-4 times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. Scientists do not yet know exactly what causes type 1 diabetes; therefore the children are insulin dependent, which is NOT a cure.
Imagine your child reading the above paragraphs and realizing this was about them! We face the reality of death everyday as we test blood every few hours, manage precision diets, and give insulin injections to our child. Please help us find a cure. We don’t want any other parents or children to deal with this reality.
-Research from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. http://www.jdrf.org/