I started walking each year for Vince and his brother John. The reason might be obvious. To find a cure! Well, to be honest, I personally don’t see a cure in Vince’s lifetime. Maybe I am just pessimistic but I just don’t see it. What I do see is advances in treatments. When Vince was diagnosed in June of 1980 at 6 months old, Diabetes care was just not what it is today. He didn’t even have a blood glucose monitor. He tested his blood sugar levels by peeing on a stick (much like the keytone tests some use today) The shade of blue would tell him if he was around a BG of 130 or 240. So getting a result of 172 was just not reality. That aside, I have no idea how his mom was able to get an infant’s urine out of the diaper and on to the pee stick… I have a feeling she just gave him his formula and an insulin shot at certain times of the day as the doctor directed and that was that. When he got a little older, he can remember having to pee on the stick to test himself. Then a few years later he finally got his first glucose meter and was able to see numbers. Still at that time, he just took shots at certain points of the day. There was little to no carb counting or ‘sliding scale’ taught. The ‘round the clock care and treatments that T1’s have today was just not there back in the 80s.
So how did we get to where we are today? JDRF Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (along with many others) The money we raise is put, not only to finding a cure, but to research and development of better technologies for care. Vince uses some of the newest technologies to help keep him as healthy and ‘controlled’ as possible and JDRF plays a role in making these devices possible.
I also use walk day to celebrate Vince. I like to recognize him and how much he deals with. I like to have that day be all about him. It is a day where the family can come together and let him know that he is not alone in this battle. I won’t lie. Having everyone there helps to remind me that WE are not alone too. This will be our third annual walk and each year our group and effort has grown. I would like to see it continue to grow to really make an impact, not only for JDRF, but for Vince as well. He deals with so much because of this stupid disease. He deserves a day (other than any old birthday) to be all about him (and his brother who also has T1)
Due to the complications and the distance (3 miles), Vince is unable to walk with everyone, but he will be there to enjoy the day. Someone always stays behind with him while the others walk. We will be walking this Sunday. I will post pictures!