My husband was 11 when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D). T1D is an autoimmune disease in which insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. T1D seems to have a genetic component and can be diagnosed early in life but also in adulthood. Its causes are not fully known, and there is currently no cure. People with T1D are dependent on injected or pumped insulin to survive. He is dependent on pumped insulin to survive and even though he makes it seem like it’s not a big deal to him, it is!
As a wife, it can be scary. There have been instances where his blood sugar has gone really low to the point where he can’t walk very well and I’ve had to rush to get him some sort of sugar. On the flip side, there have also been instances where his blood sugar is really high and he might not be able to get out of bed for a few hours. It’s heartbreaking to see him deal with this as an adult and I could not even imagine how hard it must have been as an eleven-year-old boy. I know it wasn’t easy for him or his parents who had to take care of him. The fact that at any moment his blood sugar can make his body shut down, slip into a coma or even die is something that no kid or parent should have to worry about.
It was through a very good friend that we first learned about the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). JDRF is committed to finding a cure for T1D. They support the best researchers doing the most promising, cutting-edge science to cure, prevent and treat T1D. Some of the research they fund is artificial pancreas, beta cell replacement, glucose control, prevention and restoration among others.
In addition, they provide families impacted by T1D with not only the support they need but a family they can be part of that truly understands and is willing to help. Thanks to JDRF my husband is one step closer to being able to live a more fulfilling life because now he uses a continuous glucose monitor.
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. To learn more about what our local JDRF chapter is doing please visit: Southwest Ohio Chapter