Friday, October 07, 2005

It's Not Too Late....

In just over a week, our family will participate in our first Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk To Cure Diabetes. Already, many blog readers have opened their hearts and their pocketbooks to help fund this important charity. THANK YOU to all those who've already donated and sent messages of support!

With just over a week left until Walk Day, we are busy making team t-shirts, recruiting last-minute walkers, and finding sponsors/donors.

For those of you who missed the initial announcement, no fear~there's still time to help out! Here is the relevant information:

Dear Friends,

This year, our family will be taking part in The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes, along with one-half million other walkers across the country, as we try to reach our goal of raising $86 million.

Many of you have met our eight-year-old son. He was diagnosed with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes on July 17, 2004. That morning he awoke vomiting, hyperventilating, and unable to speak or stand. We rushed him to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed and transferred via ambulance to UCSF Medical Center. We learned later he had been on the brink of a deadly diabetic coma.

Our son will be insulin dependent for life. Already he's endured over 3,650 fingerpricks and 1,825 insulin injections. People with Type 1 Diabetes face devastating complications, including blindness, kidney failure, stroke, amputations, and heart disease. Diabetes affects every organ in the human body.

Our son pricks his finger for blood tests 8-12 times daily, even when he is sleeping or playing. Sometimes he is unable to play with his friends or participate in PE or his favorite sport, swimming, because his blood sugar is too high or too low. And in addition to rigorous blood testing and insulin shots, he must measure everything he puts into his mouth and calculate the proper insulin dose. While insulin keeps our son alive, it is not a cure and doesn't prevent these daily nuisances or the frightening long-term complications.

In the face of all this, our son is a tough kid and rarely complains. He's full of jokes, giggles, and everything else you'd expect from a happy 8-year-old. He's done his own shots since two weeks after diagnosis! Truly, he is a source of inspiration.

His twin sister is brave as well. She knows that her risk for Type 1 Diabetes is now 10 times that of the rest of the population and she often worries whether she'll develop it, too. And, as you can imagine, it hasn't been easy watching her twin get all this extra attention.

In short, this disease has turned our lives upside down. The GOOD news is that science has made tremendous strides in a short amount of time and a cure truly is within reach. Donating to the JDRF is the very best way to make inroads into finding a cure. Over 90% of funds raised by the JDRF goes straight into research. It was recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of the nation's top 10 most efficient charities and has been honored by SmartMoney for its efficiency.

Now, more than ever, you can make a crucial difference. Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as possible? Together, we can make the cure a reality!

You may donate online at the following URLs:

To donate to our son's walk:

To donate to our daughter's walk:

To donate to Martha's walk:

Our walk is on October 15 at Crissy Field in San Francisco. Even small contributions of only a few dollars will add up! Everything is appreciated! Thank you so much for your time and for any help you can offer.

Martha O'Connor