Thursday, September 26, 2013
3 Rockwall kids aim to raise $12,000 for juvenile diabetes research
It's not a long shot, considering they raised $11,000 last year.
ROCKWALL Last November, three Rockwall grade-school students formed a team of more than 100 walkers and were honored for raising the most money at the 2012 Walk to Cure Diabetes in Dallas for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) – over $11,000.
Thus far, Pullen Elementary sixth-grader Audrey Wirtzberger (above left), Pullen fifth-grader Preston Chandler and Amy Parks fifth-grader Meghan Hughes have raised more than $9,000 worth of contributions from dozens of individuals, families and businesses. Their goal is $12,000 by this Saturday.
To help them reach it, you can donate online here: Team AMP It Up For A Cure.
The three students told TheRockwallNews.com that they are excited to participate again in the event and are grateful to receive so much support from so many people.
“Diabetes is a painful disease that I hate having,” said Audrey, 11, who was diagnosed with the illness at age 6. She is the only one of six Wirtzberger children with the disease.
“I have accepted it as my ‘normal’ but I pray for better treatments and a cure. I participate in the Walk because I want research to create better treatments for diabetes.”
Her mother, Amy, said because of research done through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, “we have better treatment for Type 1, better control of Type 1 and are very close to a cure for Type 1.”
“Diabetes is a life-long disease with the potential of causing blindness, kidney failure and many other terrible things, but with the new knowledge and treatments these things may never happen to these kids. As a mom, I want my daughter and all the other kids suffering with Type 1 diabetes to have long healthy lives.”
“Diabetes is a club you don’t want to belong in,” explained Preston, 10, who was diagnosed before his fifth birthday. He says he wants to see a cure as soon as possible.
“The reason I am involved in JDRF is because I want a cure. I don’t like having to leave sleepovers because my blood sugar is too high or too low. I don’t like having my mom worry all the time if I’m going outside to play. I don’t want any other kid to have to do this!"
According to his mother, Caroline Chandler, Preston is very active, despite having the disease.
“When we switched from daily shots to an insulin pump it changed our world because he didn’t have to worry about taking a shot each time he ate,” she explained.
“Life with diabetes was once described to me by my wonderful diabetic educator as ‘a job you didn’t apply for, don’t like, and can’t quit.’ This rings very true in our life. It was brought on so suddenly and was such a shock to our family, our way of life and our choices. It has become our ‘new normal,’ but I still would take it on 100 times if he didn’t have to. It is a CONSTANT worry and a 24/7 job. We are up many nights with either high or low blood sugar. We worry when he is too active or not active enough; we worry when his numbers have been too high or too low; we worry when he has stress from school in his life; we worry when he is going through a growth spurt, when he has a birthday party, etc.., etc…, etc….. EVERY little thing in his life can affect his blood sugar.
“Another frustrating part is the ignorance of people. They will look at him and say ‘Well, he’s so thin – how does he have diabetes?’ Or they will tell me about their uncle who lost their leg because of diabetes. Or their grandma who died…. The public perception that Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the same disease is huge! I hate when they tell my 10-year-old these things!
“JDRF is such an amazing non-profit. A high percentage of funds go directly into research. Because of generous donations they are coming SO close to a cure. Having insulin taken by mouth is coming, having to check your blood with a strip to the skin instead of an invasive poke is so close, the artificial pancreas is so close. It seems that the more I read, the more research is getting closer and closer to finding a cure.
“As a family – this is our prayer – that they find a cure for this awful, life-altering disease!”
Diagnosed a little over a year ago, Meghan, 10, says she walks and raises funds to help promote awareness of Type 1 diabetes and help others understand what they deal with daily.
“I joined with Preston and Audrey to form Team AMP shortly after I was diagnosed so that I could help make a difference in the lives of others like me,” she said. “I want a cure so that kids younger than me don’t have to go what I go through daily. I check my blood 6-10 times daily and administer insulin four times a day. It’s always on my mind.”
Her mother, Tracy Hughes, said that Meghan’s diagnosis completely changed their lives as they knew it.
“Every day is unpredictable with Type 1,” she explained. “I have high hopes for a cure. As a mom of a Type 1 child, I feel like partnering with JDRF and raising money and awareness for a cure is the one thing I can do to help change her life one day. I will continue to press on for a cure!”
According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. It was previously known as juvenile diabetes. About 1 in every 400 children and adolescents have the disease. Only five percent of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
In Type 1, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children with Type 1 diabetes can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy, happy lives. It comes on with sudden weight loss and insatiable thirst. This type must be treated with daily insulin, either with a syringe or pump.
While taking insulin keeps people with Type 1 alive, it does not cure the disease. While progress toward finding a cure has been substantial, there is still no cure for diabetes. Scientists do not yet know exactly what causes Type 1 but they believe that both genetic and environmental factors are involved. Eating too much sugar is not a factor, one of the myths of Type 1 diabetes. Though Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in adulthood, increased obesity and other factors have led to a recent “epidemic” of this form of diabetes in young adults and children under 10.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Those with Type 2 diabetes find that their bodies do not use insulin properly. It is called insulin resistance. Although the pancreas initially makes extra insulin to make up for it, over time, it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to maintain blood glucose at normal levels.
Type 2 is due primarily to lifestyle factors and genetics. A number of lifestyle factors are known to be important to the development of Type 2, including: obesity, lack of physical activity, poor diet and stress. Dietary factors also influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks in excess is associated with an increased risk. The type of fats in the diet are also important, with saturated fats and trans fatty acids increasing the risk and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat decreasing the risk. Eating lots of white rice appears to also play a role in increasing risk.
Approximately 26 million people, or 8 percent of the U.S. population, have the disease. Research reveals that blacks and Hispanics are nearly twice as likely as whites to have the disease.
For more info about Type 2 diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association.
Pegasus News Content partner - TheRockwallNews.com
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