Steps Toward A ‘Normal’ Life

By Lori McCarney
Wednesday - November 11, 2009 Share

By Lori McCarney, Board President
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Thousands of finger pricks is just the beginning.

Just to stay alive requires an ongoing routine of injections, infusion-site changes, carbohydrate counting, HbA1c tests, blood glucose monitoring and more.

This is the life of kids who live with type 1 diabetes. It’s not a normal life, although kids and their families bravely attempt to do everything they can to make it so.

In Hawaii, we estimate that 5,000 kids and adults struggle with this disease. Their need is often overshadowed by the nearly 100,000 Hawaii residents who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.


The Hawaii chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is part of an international organization whose primary purpose is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications. As is often misunderstood, children with type 1 diabetes can’t treat their diabetes by exercising more or eating less sugar. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, the insulin needed by the body to transform blood sugar into energy in order to survive.

Team Kristyn’s Kruisers has been walking JDRF Hawaii’s annual Walk to Cure Diabetes in support of 11-year-old Kristyn Yasui for the past six years

Promising research, wherever it is conceived, is supported by the monies raised by this organization through fundraising and federal government sponsorship. Since its inception in 1989, JDRF’s Hawaii chapter has raised more than $6 million for diabetes research.

JDRF also supports local kids and families. Training and education sessions are held on an ongoing basis. Newly diagnosed families are personally visited by veteran type 1 families who bring a “bag of hope” and a connection to people who can provide guidance and support. Meetings with athletes who are coping with diabetes, such as Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and Race Across America cyclist Matt Vogel, help kids see that they’re not alone and that they can excel.


November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and Nov. 14 is World Diabetes Day. Please join us and hundreds of other walkers this coming Saturday in the Walk to Cure Diabetes at Kapiolani Park. Contact Sharif Bari at 988-1000 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

Diabetes is fast emerging as one of the most serious health problems of our time. A cure is the only hope kids with type 1 diabetes have to live a truly normal life.

Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 


Hawaii charitable organizations may send requests for space in either Proof Positive or the free advertisement below to dchapman@midweek.com.

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