This past weekend I had a wonderful time participating in a yard sale/barbecue/bake sale in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Their mission is to cure type 1 diabetes (T1D) and improve the lives of those living with the disease.
Like many of you, I have a family history of diabetes, specifically, type 1, with aunts, uncles, nieces and cousins who have this illness. So, supporting diabetes research is near and dear to my heart.
If you are unfamiliar with type 1 diabetes (T1D), it can affect any of us, at any age. Although most people are diagnosed as children, it is not just a child’s disease, and in fact, 25% of people with T1D are diagnosed as adults.1
According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation –
“Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Unlike type 2 diabetes, T1D is not linked to being overweight, lack of exercise or other lifestyle factors. It is not preventable and its cause is unknown.
The challenges of living with a life-threatening disease
People with T1D must take insulin via syringe or insulin pump in required doses in order to control glucose levels in their blood. This continuous glucose monitoring involves testing their blood sugar by pricking their finger(s) six or more times a day. Despite this constant attention, people with T1D still run the risk of dangerously high blood sugar levels, which can lead to complications, or dangerously low blood sugar levels, which can result in a coma.
Insulin is not a cure
While insulin injections or infusion allow a person with T1D to stay alive, they do not cure the disease, nor prevent long-term complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of amputations, blindness, kidney and heart disease, and other debilitating conditions.
T1D strikes both children and adults at any age.
What are the symptoms?
T1D often develops suddenly and can produce symtoms such as:
- Sudden weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Abnormal thirst and a dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Lack of energy, extreme tiredness
- Constant hunger
300,000+ Canadians may have T1D. Nationally, the average incidence rate has been growing at an estimated 5.1% per year – higher than the global average.” 1
Not only was the yard sale/barbecue/bake sale a wonderful cause, it’s always lots of fun to get together with family and friends. I also enjoyed meeting the lovely people who dropped by to find some great deals, pick up some baked goods, grab a hot dog or popsicle and generally support diabetes research.
If you would like to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, you can visit HERE.
Do you or anyone you know have type 1 diabetes? If so, how old were you (or them) when diagnosed?