For 20 years I have had this yearning in my heart to make an impact on finding a cure for IDDM (juvenile diabetes). My youngest son was in high school, on the wrestling team, track and was in the midst of drivers training when one day he came home and just crashed, on his bed. I thought he was exhausted from the rigorous wrestling training. When I realized he was nearly too weak to stand, we went straight to the doctor. His sugar was at dangerous levels over 900! Yes, it is true. How could I let it go that far? Honestly, there were a couple of signs that I missed.
Weight loss and fatigue which I attributed to his extreme wrestling training at school.
When we went for the family yearly eye exams the doctor asked me if he was diabetic and I laughing said no... there is not even a diabetic in the family. Docs response was, it seems there was a bit of build up (sugar), you might want to keep an eye on it but no changes in his vision. And lastly, Jason said he had difficulty at drivers training that day, crossing the lines. I thought it was odd, but Jason is blind in one eye due to a pinched optical nerve so I thought perhaps that was the problem even though it had never caused him difficulty in the past.
I found out later he and his friends went to the local party store every day after school and got a candy bar and a Mountain Dew! Not good. That didn't cause the IDDM, it was his body starving for insulin and a teenage boy with a couple dollars in his pocket.
The cause of IDDM is a virus. Scary but true. It can be a virus that your child gets when they are much younger and the body gets confused and starts attacking the good cells as well as the bad ones and damages the pancreas. It is not preventable as yet (my goal to fix this) and is highly misunderstood. It is NOT the result of bad diet and laziness or lethargy like adult onset diabetes can be and it is NOT hereditary like adult ones diabetes. Jason was a slender muscular average boy, always active with hunting, school and general kid stuff. I guess that is why I just could not see it.
We nearly lost him that day... he was comatose and in ICU for several days to bring the sugar down. I will be forever grateful to the team of people who taught us, as a family, how to give shots, measure insulin, recognize low and high sugar, prepare meals.... all of it. They gave us the tools we needed to cope and as a result Jason to this day is healthy and happy with a family of his own...no diabetic children (IDDM is not hereditary)
We all want the best of the best for our children so I know you can understand this plea. There must be early detection (before it shows symptoms and damages the pancreas) so a cure can be found. I have faith in our technology that they can do this, but is has to be funded. I'm not a fund raising guru or even a band booster. I'm just a Mom with a camera that has to do this. I know it can be done if we work together. I am currently trying to put together a photo session where 100% of the profit goes to this cause. I'll keep you posted.
If you have a story. thoughts or suggestions you'd like to share, please email me. I'd love to hear what you have to say.