Friday, August 22, 2008
JDRF Walk September 27th, 2008
Hi Friends and Family,
We're writing to you to ask for your support in a very special cause. On September 27th, we are going to participate in our 3rd annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk “Campaign For A Cure.”
Two years ago in July, our son Carter was diagnosed at the age of 5 with Juvenile Diabetes. Since that time, we have adapted to a new “normal” of shots, blood sugar checks via finger pricks 6-8 times a day, and an insulin pump which Carter wears 24 hours a day.
This year, along with a half-million other walkers across the country our national goal is to raise $100 million to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a devastating, often deadly disease that affects millions of people - a large and growing percentage of them children. Many people think type 1 diabetes can be controlled by insulin. While insulin does keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, it is NOT a cure. Aside from the daily challenges of living with type 1 diabetes, there are many severe, often fatal, complications caused by the disease.
Juvenile Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. Insulin allows sugar to pass into our cells so that it can be “burned” for our energy. The cells are like a furnace, which burn fuel to make energy. Our bodies constantly need energy for all of our body functions. Sugar comes from two places. “Internal” sugar comes from our body’s own production in the liver or from the release of stored sugar from the liver. This sugar is released into the blood stream. “External” sugar comes from the food we eat. It enters the stomach and then moves into the intestine where it is absorbed. When people do not have diabetes, the pancreas makes insulin to regulate both internal and external sugar.
When people have juvenile diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin. The blood sugar can’t pass into the body’s cells to be burned. Instead the blood sugar rises to a high level and overflows through the kidneys into the urine. When sugar enters the urine water is pulled from all over the body to go out with the sugar. This can quickly lead to extremely high blood sugars which starves the body and worst case if untreated will cause organ damage and potentially a coma. To counteract this disease, we check blood sugars six to eight times a day with a small finger prick in Carter’s fingers. We determine his blood sugar from the meter and enter it into his insulin pump and make adjustments to keep it within a good range of 70 to 180. For everything Carter eats or drinks, we count the carbohydrates and enter the information into his pump so that the pump can figure out how much insulin to administer.
Many people often ask if Carter’s diabetes is under control or stabilized. We often don’t know how to answer that question. Diabetes never takes a break or vacation. Diabetes doesn’t get better or is cured. It is not a disease that is “controlled”. Everyday stresses, emotions, hormones, excitement, exercise, and food all play into how the body responds. No two days are alike. As a parent it is extremely frustrating as we can “do” everything right one day and have perfect sugars all day long. Then can do the exact same things the next and have extremely high or extremely low blood sugars. Illness also affects these children quickly. When they get the flu or even a cold, the body has to fight extra hard to battle the illness and blood sugars often soar to high levels.
Two years ago in July, Laura was at a homeschool meeting at our dear friend Christy Cook’s house. While she was there, she got the heart wrenching phone call of Carter’s diagnosis. Two years later, our dear friends Christy and Tim are walking this path personally with their sweet 8 month old son Forest. He was diagnosed 3 weeks ago after having dangerously high blood sugars. Christy and Tim are traveling the same road of grief, stress, anger, and anxiety that we have felt. Imagine checking blood sugar levels on their dear baby boy 10-15 times a day and injecting insulin 3-7 times a day.
Sixteen years ago, Laura lived with a family and babysat their 4 amazing children which were all in my wedding. Their family played a huge role in mentoring her. Their youngest daughter Emmy was diagnosed with Juvenile diabetes just this past February. She is having to learn to cope with this as a young adult and all the social, emotional, and physical challenges it entails as she heads off for her freshman year at KU.
As parents, overnight we turn into nurses, mathematicians, dieticians, and technical gurus all the while trying to keep from hitting the panic button as you read crazy blood sugar readings. Sometimes the pump doesn’t work or the body isn’t responding due to illness and we have to respond by administering shots many times throughout the day as well. We're writing to ask for your support because now more than ever, EACH of us can be a part of bringing about a cure. Each of us can make a real difference.
The good news, though, is that a cure for Type 1 diabetes is within reach. In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in Type 1 diabetes research to date. And JDRF funds a major portion of all Type 1 diabetes research worldwide, more than any other charity.
What can you do to help? First I would ask that you consider joining us on this walk September 27th as your presence provides amazing support and encouragement for these children and their families.
Secondly, I would ask you to consider donating to JDRF as they continue to pursue a cure for those affected with this disease. Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as you're able? http://walk.jdrf.org/walker.cfm?id=87057623
Third, we have designed JDRF walk t-shirts for Carter and Forest. Would you consider purchasing a T-shirt or several to wear and raise public awareness and support for Juvenile Diabetes? Adult shirts are $15 and children’s shirts are $13. Any extra money raised from these shirt sales will go towards JDRF. Shirts can be ordered by emailing Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org Adult sizes are $15 and Child sizes are $13 each. A picture of the shirt can be found at http://robertsonlaurac.blogspot.com
Lastly, and most importantly, we ask for your prayers that God will keep these children healthy and use this disease in their lives for His glory. Also that He will help us as parents to trust Him for his care and provision of these children so anxiety and fear does not rule our days.
If you'd like to join us on the walk to support Carter and Forest, it will be held in Tulsa at the OU-Schusterman Center on September 27th from 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Together, we can make the cure a reality.
Jim & Laura Robertson
Tim & Christy Cook
Please visit our Walk Web page if you would like to donate online or see how close we are to reaching our personal goals:
Posted by Laura at 11:09 AM