Last year, my 4 year-old son and I walked (well, I carried him for 2 miles) in support of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). We raised a modest amount in support of this wonderful effort. This year, we want to help more than ever, and I thought I'd ask the SQLblog community for some additional support.
We are walking in support of our friend Marissa (Marissa's Mermaids team). Marissa was diagnosed in Sept. 2005 with Type 1 Diabetes, since then she has had 4620 finger pricks to draw blood and 1095 injections. Now, she is attached to an insulin pump 24 hours a day. Type 1 (or Juvenile) Diabetes is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting every organ system - it is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its pancreas and permanently destroys the cells that make insulin. Once Type 1 Diabetes arrives, it becomes a life-long condition.
Like nearly 3 million Americans with Type 1 Diabetes, Marissa has lower projected lifespan by 14 years and is more likely to suffer blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, stroke, and heart attack. Every year, 13,000 children are diagnosed. INSULIN IS NOT A CURE - IT IS MERELY LIFE SUPPORT. At times when Marissa is most upset, with tears in her eyes, she says, "I wish I could take my diabetes and throw it in the trash can."
To manage Marissa's diabetes, her parents have the impossible struggle of balancing carbohydrates, insulin, and physical activity with uncontrollable variables such as illness, growth, exercise-level, excitement, and stress. Every day offers Marissa the risk of a drastic low blood sugar causing seizure or possibly death. It could only take one mistake on one morning or one afternoon or one night. Or it could simply involve a random event from her body.
Marissa is brave. Her parents poke her finger to draw blood 8-12 times each day including routine checks at midnight and 3am. Every carbohydrate at every meal or snack must be counted. The carbs must be perfectly balanced immediately through injections or an insulin pump to attempt to imitate the way yours and my pancreas works. There are no exceptions and there is never a day off!
JDRF is amazingly efficient - 85% of donations go directly to research.
Major research advances have occurred in the past few years! Diabetes has been cured in mice in at least 4 ways and various human trials are beginning. Scientists legitimately believe a cure is possible before Marissa loses this life-long battle. We ask you to share Marissa's story with your organization so that your entire company would consider sponsoring Marissa. Your contribution might make the difference in the one research laboratory where the cure will be achieved!
So if you are able to donate, please visit http://walk.jdrf.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=extranet.personalpage&confirmid=87065878. Together we can help find a cure!