Curing Diabetes

July 27, 2008

This is one of the toughest items to knock off my list.

To be clear here, I’m talking about Type 1 Diabetes, the insulin-dependant kind that is a result of having part of your pancreas killed by your immune system. 

I am the father of a Type 1 Diabetic.  My now-six-year-old son was four when he was diagnosed.  Two years – and over 6000 needles later – we parent in a way that we hope will instill in our son a sense of self-belief, a sense that he can manage the disease and live a long, healthy life.

I don’t rightly believe that I, myself, can cure diabetes.  But I believe I can help.

Next year I am embarking on cycling trip that will span 2500 kilometers (about 1550 miles) in 21 days, stopping in schools and visiting service clubs and media along the way.  We’ll be talking about Type 1 Diabetes, what it is like to live with the disease, to raise awareness of the JDRF and to raise $100,000 for research in finding the cure. You can find out more about our quest at http://www.bikingforacure.com

Still, even if we meet all our goals, it won’t necessarily mean that I can stroke this one off.  It may very well be the one that lingers on for five years…a decade…maybe more.

My son is a bright, energetic kid who will make the most of his life.  He already knows to make good with what he’s got – bloom where you’re planted – and he’s got a great support network around him to help him take this thing by the reigns and keep it in control.  He tests his own blood sugar, he’s great at taking needles and I don’t know of any other six year olds that can guestimate carbs per serving quite like he does.

Guess I don’t suppose I think I should…

Still, it’s hard to know that over his head looms the risk of heart disease, organ failure, coma, DKA.  Every time he sighs in his sleep you wake up wondering if his blood sugars are crashing.  I don’t want this for my son.

I don’t want this for my son…and so it’s on my list.

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