LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
He even swims while wearing the device that essentially serves as a prosthetic pancreas. Early on, Tyler’s Mom and I discussed limiting our fundraising to a cause specifically focused on Type 1, juvenile diabetes because it is so traumatic to both the children who suffer from it and for their families. Treating it is incredibly expensive for parents without any or with woefully inadequate health insurance.
That’s where our hearts really go out. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a fund that would assure that very young kids with diabetes and their parents had easily- affordable, adequate care and treatment of the disease without having to worry about losing the house? Without crying all night and worrying what on earth they can do to save their kid’s life, or at least make it more bearable?
The truth of the matter is that it would take several billion dollars a year to really address that need. We believe that our best use of effort and cash is to help find a cure and ways to prevent the disease from even happening. We also believe the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to be the organization best suited to spearhead the cutting edge research and development that may ultimately lead to those solutions. And we know that everybody working at ADA would love nothing better than to work themselves out of a job.
Kids like Tyler, most of whom have to have 6 or 8 blood tests followed by as many insulin injections every day of their lives, will one day be adults. Diabetes does not go away nor does the absolute necessity for insulin.
I suspect that many, if not most of you readers, know adults who have had legs or arms amputated because of diabetes complications. The disease also leads to often-fatal liver and kidney failure and heart disease. It is a leading cause of strokes. I’ve had three of those, myself, almost surely brought on by diabetes. Diabetics are almost four times more likely to suffer a stroke than people who do not have the disease.