CGM, JDRF & a WALK

OurHeroMaddie

(quick sketch with Bic pen)

Many of you know the hero who lives in our home. You’ve read about her diagnosis six years ago, the ups and downs of living with Type 1 Diabetes, her bravery and courage in the face of the daily challenges of managing the disease, and the Walk we look forward to each year rallying friends and family to support our hero and all the heroes of juvenile diabetes.

Since the age of 7, Maddie has become intimately acquainted with the discoveries and helps JDRF has brought about to make living with T1D possible. Blood sugar testing devices, insulin, shots and a pump. These are all the weapons with which our hero fights back the debilitating effects of out-of-control blood sugars. Her ongoing commitment to use these fools not only enables her to LIVE, but to live well and healthy. We are grateful beyond words for her and for JDRF.

In this last year, Maddie has added to her arsenal of Type 1 weaponry. she now wears on her body not one, but two insets–one for her insulin pump and now another for a CGM. The Continuous Glucose Monitor, shows us the trends in her blood sugar levels as it continually gauges them via the interstitial tissue. The monitor also sounds an alarm when her blood sugars hit levels either too high or too low, thus alerting her to test her blood sugar and make the necessary adjustment to bring her blood sugars back to a healthier level.

It was Maddie who wanted this new device. Over the last couple of years, she had noticed (as well as Randy and I, her parents) that she was not able to feel when her blood sugars were low until they got down to a scary level. She used to be able to feel it when her blood sugars were in the 70’s and 60’s. Now she sometimes hasn’t a clue until her blood sugars are in the 40’s! We were impressed and amazed that a 13-year-old would want yet another device to wear, keep up with, and manage.

She truly is a hero. Our hero. By saying that, I do not mean that she is impervious to discouragement and frustration. This is how I define a hero:

One who continues fighting the good fight, day in and day out, in the face of challenges of all kinds–discouragement, frustration, discomfort, and even others’ misunderstandings.

On November 7th we Walk in support of our hero and on behalf of all the other brave and courageous families and children affected by Type 1 Diabetes. We invite you to join us! Your contribution to JDRF will continue the ongoing research to create better tools for managing T1D and for finding a Cure! So many wonderful things are on the horizon! We appreciate any support you can offer!!

Click here to make a donation to JDRF in Maddie’s honor

and/or sign up to walk with us on November 7th.

A Grateful Girl!

A couple of Sundays ago, Maddie told me on our way home, that in Children’s Church, the teacher asked them all a question:

What is something you are thankful for and why?

“Mom”, she said, “I’ve always felt thankful for insulin, and that is what I said.  But I don’t think it ever really hit me, because the reason I said I was thankful for it is ’cause…I wouldn’t be alive.”

I looked back at her in my rear-view mirror.  A sweet smile was on her face. No self-pity there. No desire to be dramatic. Just glad gratitude.

I was the one struggling with the self-pity…or the pity for her.  It  made me remember back to being at Brenner’s, when she was first diagnosed. We had been there a day or so; she was receiving regular shots of insulin. We were all learning the ins and outs of this new life called Living with Diabetes.  The nurses had given her a JDRF bear with a toy shot so she could practice giving him his insulin shots.  I remember her also practicing on us.  And before she would give us the “spot”, she would say, “When I give you this spot, you will never be thirsty again.”

She had realized even in those first hours of her new life, that insulin was what made her feel so so much better.  Her thirst was going away.  She was able to make it to the bathroom and not have to go so much.  She wasn’t hungry all the time.  Her energy was returning.

I am grateful too! I cannot tell you how thankful we are to JDRF and to the support we receive through this organization locally!! Won’t you join us in our gratitude and make a THANK YOU donation to Maddie’s Mission to find a Cure for Diabetes.  They are close! In the next decade we may see a cure for this disease! Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Maddie (and I) will be even more grateful!

And we are so very grateful to those of you who have already given to Maddie’s Mission!!! A big hug to you today!

Mr. Whicker & Maddie: A Diabetes Story

In early December of 2009, Mr. Whicker knocked on our front door.  My parents answered the door, as Randy and I and Maddie were not there.  My parents had come to stay with our two older children since we were at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital.  My parents told Mr. Whicker where we were and why. Maddie had been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.  Mr. Whicker’s eyes filled up with tears and he stood in our doorway and wept.

When my parents recounted this to me, at first I marveled at his compassion. And as my dad continued to tell me that they reassured him things would be alright for Maddie, it dawned on me that in his generation, children who were diagnosed with juvenile diabetes often died, or at least were bound to develop all kinds of eyesight, heart, and nerve problems due to the disease.

We live in a grand time when insulin and so many other discoveries and technological advances have made it possible for children and adults who are diagnosed with this disease to LIVE!!  Not only that, but the efforts of JDRF and others, have made living with Type 1 Diabetes so much less cumbersome and allow for a greater degree of “managing” the blood sugar levels.  As blood sugar levels are maintained within a healthier range, the debilitating effects of diabetes are lessened.  It is still by no means an easy disease to live with.  Compared to “normal” kids, even today’s technology seems cumbersome.  But compared to what it used to be like…we have come a long way!

We celebrate today that our daughter LIVES!!  She enjoys the benefits of so many things that JDRF has played a vital role in providing for her.  Here are just a few:

Maddie’s Test Kits

Won’t you join us in celebrating the HUGE advances the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has been a part of?  Consider donating a few dollars to this organization so that they can continue down the path of finding a cure!

Mr. Whicker and Maddie will be so glad you did!

So will I! 🙂

Maddie’s Pump and Inset

Remember! We Walk for the Cure on October 27th!! Come join us if you’d like!

October means The JDRF Walk!

It’s been TWO YEARS since Maddie and I participated in the JDRF Walk for the Cure.  Last fall was just too crazy and it pained me to have to bow out of it.  I vowed not to let busyness push it out of our calendar this year!! So we are signed up to walk, and would invite ANY of you who would like to walk with us, to please do so!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wake Forest University BB&T Field

Winston-Salem, NC

Registration starts 9 am

Walk begins 10 am

I’ll be posting once a week about this wonderful organization called the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  This group has been around since the 70’s.  Due to their efforts in research and fund-raising, they have literally made it possible for a child with Type 1 Diabetes to LIVE.

When Maddie goes to her appointments at the Joslyn Diabetes Center, she is now told that a cure is around the corner…possibly in the next 5 to 10 years!!  The need for funding is great as they close in on finding a cure and discovering other technological advances that make living with T1D so much more manageable.

If you would like to contribute to this fine organization to help find a cure, PLEASE CLICK HERE! The set up for donating a few dollars is SO simple through the JDRF site.  Maddie’s Mission is the name of our team.  Your contribution, no matter how small, goes to benefitting Maddie and so many of her friends she has met who are also living with Type 1 Diabetes.

We would be truly grateful for your donation!

AND if you’re in the area, please walk with us!!

To read more about Maddie and her diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes when she was 7 years old (she’s now 10!), click here!

And…for all other posts about Type 1 Diabetes, click here!