We hear about or read about diseases all of the time. But if we, or someone we love are not involved, discussing details and cures may not touch our hearts.
Diabetes touches mine.
You’ve probably heard of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but do you know the difference?
Type 2 accounts for up to 90% of diabetes cases in the US and is generally attributed to being overweight and having a poor diet. It often begins as insulin resistance, i.e. plenty of insulin being produced by the pancreas, so much so that the body begins to reject it. Often, it can be controlled by diet and exercise.
Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes, is the opposite problem.
With Type 1 diabetes, often referred to as juvenile diabetes as it hits before the age of 20, the pancreas stops producing insulin. Practically speaking, this means that survival depends on monitoring blood sugar 24/7 – yes, piercing your finger several times during the day and in the middle of the night – eating or drinking juice to increase blood sugar or, far more often, injecting insulin either by syringe or pump (needle injected in the stomach attached to a machine that houses and allows distribution of insulin) to reduce blood sugar.
But enough of the facts, let me introduce you to faces.
Meet Summer, she’s my niece.
I’m proud of her for many things: that she is an A student, a charitable committee leader in her high school, and a volunteer in a veterinary hospital. But I love her because she looks me in the eye and talks to me – she asks real questions and listens to the answers. She is a lady and a scholar and has EVERYTHING going for her, except for this one thing.
She was diagnosed with type 1 or juvenile diabetes when she was 6.
She’s 18 now. Sorry Sum, but I had to share this photo.
Just WOW, am I right?
Meet Everest, he’s my nephew.
I’m proud of him for many things: that he’s just 12 years old, yet he sits at the piano to play and sing One Love, by Bob Marley when we come to visit, that he skillfully zips along Sebastopol streets on his long board, and that his memory for detail is dizzying. But I love him because he’s so vulnerable: “I love you Grandfather”, “I love you Keith and Marissa”, “I love you Mom” – he speaks these words with a true heart and an absence of armor. He is a gentleman and a scholar and has EVERYTHING going for him, except for this one thing.
He was diagnosed with type 1 or juvenile diabetes when he was 10.
Now meet my sister. Her name is Suzanna. I’m in awe of her; I really am – for many reasons, but most of all for these extraordinary children that she’s raised as a single mom.
That guy with her in the photo below, his name is Tom. He’s been in her life for a while now and makes her really happy, and that makes me happy. He introduced her to biking and now she owns it.
She’s participating in the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure – June 9th in Palo Alto, 120k ride! Her sponsorship goal is $2,000 and she’s 1/4 of the way there. I’ve sponsored her, and I’m asking you to help me help her to reach her goal.
And I want to thank you!
If you help to sponsor her – even $5 – send me your name, to email@example.com. I’m going to do an old-fashioned hat draw. I’ll put a slip of paper with every donor’s name into a hat, and the lucky person, maybe you, who is drawn will get a copy of the just released book, Not Quite Nigella: How I Found Happiness Through Butter, by the phenomenal food blogger Lorraine Elliott.
I’ll post a real-time video of the drawn name.
Thank you my dear readers!