THE STORY OF ONE FAMILY'S JOURNEY WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES AND CELIAC DISEASE.
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

A NEW FOCUS

NaBloPoMo Day 13
Without insulin, a child with type 1 diabetes will die within a week.


When I was a child, our family moved every 2 - 3 years.  At one point, we lived in the Philippines.  I was in the third grade and distinctly remember the immense poverty that surrounded the naval base we lived on.  I have a vivid memory of  looking through a fence after school one day watching a young boy, about my age, working in the field just beyond our house.  I stood there watching him for quite sometime.  I was stunned that he was out there chopping away at the crop, knowing his family probably didn't have enough food for dinner that night.  Our eyes met a few times.  Those minutes left an impression in my mind that I've never been able to forget.

For several years, I have felt a deep rooted desire to find children with diabetes in countries like the Philippines and help them gain access to the insulin the need for survival.  The image of a mother holding her child as she slips into DKA before dying...an innocent child moaning and crying as her body succumbs to the inevitable outcome...the fear of not having access to insulin....these images haunt me.

Oh, but I'm just a mom.

Here.

In the U.S.A.

Where I can leisurely take for granted the medical supply companies, and pharmacies, and insulin pump manufacturers....where I can rest knowing that our closet is full of the supplies we need, our refrigerator stocked full of the insulin she needs, and our health insurance ready to renew the warranty on Sugar's insulin pump.

Meanwhile, they're still there.

Dying.

Imagine having to walk for hours and hours wearing flip flops or bare feet just to access enough insulin for a week or two. Imagine only being able to obtain enough insulin for survival...and then having to face life with a myriad of complications for which you cannot obtain medical care...all because there wasn't enough insulin available to help you prevent said complications in the first place. Imagine being a parent who must make the decision between paying for the insulin to save your child's life or the food and shelter for the rest of your family.

I can't stand it.

Our family will be supporting a new organization this year.  Yes, we will still support JDRF and other diabetes advocacy organizations as best we can.  We will still have a walk team, but our goal may be cut in half - or more - I'm not sure yet.  What I DO know is this:  We are going to do whatever we can -- bake sales, car washes, letter campaigns, ANYTHING -- to support an organization that is on the front lines of providing life saving insulin to children in the developing world.

The International Diabetes Federation's Life for a Child Program is currently supporting 4,000 children in 26 countries worldwide.  They have a goal to reach 15,000 children by the end of 2011.

We plan to help them.



Candy Hearts has launched an initiative to raise $100,000 to support the 
I don't really know how we're going to do it.
It may take me the rest of my life.
I'm not really sure.
Click HERE to learn more about the meaning of the blue circle symbol for diabetes.
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10 comments:

  1. Great post Wendy and thank you for it.

    Daily, I recognize the "luck" of my situation. To be able to have Joe "wired" to the max with a pump and CGM, to be able to have a flexible work schedule to be available to him at all times...to be able to have supplies delivered in 3 month chunks to my home by the UPS guy. Honestly, life is good. I too will consider this organization for some of my fundraising. I am considering running the NYC Marathon for charity next year...I will see if I can run under them when I scope out the site.

    Amazing trailer, Amazing thoughts, Amazing YOU!!!

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  2. I didn't know about this. Thank you for sharing. My family might consider raising money for them too. I could even do a fundraiser for them. I'll have to check it out.

    Thank you for sharing and making me aware. I do sometimes take for granted that we really do have it pretty easy here in the States.

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  3. Sounds like a great organization...can't wait to check it out!

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  4. Excellent, moving post! I can only imagine that memory you have (or I should say that experience you had?), but I understand why it's stayed with you for so long. Thank you for making me aware of this organization. I had no idea it exists. I think it's so important to help those who are less fortunate and so important to teach our children how lucky and privileged they are and why it's necessary to help others. What a positive impact you will have on your kids by raising funds for this organization. It will be a win-win situation, helping other kids AND teaching your own. I'm thinking we'll do the same.

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  5. It is always a good thing to be reminded of how lucky we are to be treating our children HERE and NOW, having access to the latest technology. While we all strive for a cure, we must not forget those that struggle to just survive another day. Thank you for bringing this organization to our attention. (I have been watching that video multiple times a day and posting it to FB too)

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  6. Excellent post, Wendy.

    Here in Ghana, the first few days after a child is DX are the most trying for a family -- they're wondering how in God's name they're going to have enough money to pay for a new glucose meter, strips, syringes, insulin, the 5 days stay in the hospital, etc. All for the whopping cost of about $150 -- ridiculously expensive for families living on about $40 a month. If they belong to the national insurance plan, the stay and insulin are covered, but that is only about $30. And our hospitals don't release you until the bill is paid in full.

    Every single day I thank the Lord that we can provide for our daughter. She is truly truly blessed.

    I hope everyone who reads your post will not just thank the heavens, but move the heavens to help these children.

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  7. Wendy ..... of all the posts I've read and participated in over the last 7 weeks since my daughter's T1 diagnosis; this one spoke the loudest.

    I have been praying for God to move me towards which diabetes foundation to financially support. JDRF? ADA? Diabetes Research Institute? WDF? Of course, ALL will receive support from mer and my family in some shape or form, but I have bee praying for f-o-c-u-s on 1 cause in particular to raise funds and awareness for.

    I think this may be it. I feel the pull on my heartstrings. I hear His whispering ...... YES.

    Wow.

    Thank you, Wendy. For everything.

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  8. Thanks for sharing the info - - -
    I can't wait to check it out and hopefully help raise some money to help Candy Hearts meet it's goal!

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  9. I had never heard of them before. Thank you for sharing this Wendy!

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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.