treatment vs cure

I had a random thought today. Some people don’t understand why I want a cure so badly when they see me successfully living with T1D every day. They don’t understand why I need a cure when I have an insulin pump. If only they understood!

I’ve heard diabetics say, “insulin is my life support, not a cure,” and this is ridiculously true. A cure would mean that I would never have to worry about T1D again. I would get to live the life of a normal teenager. A cure would mean no more carb counting, no more insulin calculating, no more pump or sensor wearing, and no more waking up at 2 am to drink a juice box.

Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly blessed to live in this time period where I have all this amazing technology, and I understand how much better I have it than the diabetics who came before me. However, my pump is still only a treatment. Just like my juice box treats my low, my insulin treats my diabetes. A treatment isn’t a one time thing, but a cure would be. A treatment controls something for the time being, but a cure would control something forever.

I absolutely can not wait until the day we find that cure. Every dollar we raise, every day we advocate, and every person we educate means we are that much closer to this long anticipated cure. It will be a beautiful day when the generations after us do not even know what T1D is.

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my fifth “diaversary”

I already know what you’re thinking… diaversary?

A diaversary is the anniversary of the day you were diagnosed with diabetes! Some people go all out with cakes or even parties to celebrate. It sounds silly, but to a T1D, it’s exciting to realize that we successfully survived another year with this disease.

For me, a diaversary is a day to reflect.

August 13, 2008 will forever be stamped into my mind as the day that changed my life. It was the last day I ate without counting carbs or calculating insulin, it was the last day I went without poking my finger, and it was the last day I had ultimate freedom.

While I can easily be grim in remembering this date, I try to stay optimistic about it! Yesterday, I took time to reflect on all the amazing opportunities T1D has brought my way. I have made lifetime friends, and there are things that I would have never had the chance to experience if it weren’t for T1D. I also like to take the time to think about how much the support and encouragement of my family and friends has helped me through this disease. I know that there are plenty of nights that I could have died while sleeping if my mom had not woken up to take care of me. I also know that I would not have the perseverance and determination that I do if it weren’t for the constant positive words and motivation I receive from everyone around me. Lastly, my diaversary makes me think about how much I truly am looking forward to a cure! While I strive my best everyday to fight diabetes, I can not wait until the day where my life is no longer a struggle.

5 years of living with T1D has brought a whirlwind of new friends, opportunities, and blessings, but it has also brought emotional, physical, and mental daily challenges. I honestly hope that yesterday was my last diaversary, but I know that I will continue to thrive in my fight and wait for the cure!

cc ’13 reflection

Sorry that I have not posted in so long! The past few weeks have been extremely hectic, and believe it or not, school starts next week!

I never got to post about everything we did at Children’s Congress. Everything felt like a whirl wind while we were there, and I was still trying to take in everything that happened when we got back.

The first 2 days were spent making lifetime friends, learning so much about exciting research, and training for our Capitol Hill meetings. On Wednesday, the delegates took Capitol Hill by storm, as everywhere you looked, there were determined delegates in blue Children’s Congress t-shirts. All of my meetings with Mississippi’s representatives and senators went remarkably well! Not only did each of them take the time out of their busy schedules to meet personally with us, they were all so open to hearing my story of living with Type 1 Diabetes. All Congressmen were so excited to continue their support of JDRF and finding a cure by promising to sign the letter of intent about supporting the Special Diabetes Program.

After our meetings, we had the incredible opportunity to take a group picture with none other than the Vice President! He was very inspiring in encouraging all of us to never let diabetes stop us. While we were still starry eyed, we headed straight to the Senate hearing. The most touching person to testify was Ray Allen, the NBA champion, whose young son lives with T1D. Ray really touched everyone and it felt like he was speaking the words right out of every type one’s mouth.

It is still hard for me to believe that Children’s Congress is already over! While it flew by, I made so many lifetime memories and friendships. I came home so excited about advocacy and the cure. I was really motivated to take better care of myself until the day the cure comes, because I believe that that day will be very soon.

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children’s congress finishing touches

As the hectic last minute touches are being made for Children’s Congress, it’s hard to believe that I’ll be leaving in just 4 days for DC! I’m still trying to make sure my shoes are delivered in time, my mom is on the phone right now trying to get a token from our state to bring all the delegates, and I have another tv interview that was just rescheduled for tomorrow morning. While these next few days are only going to get busier by the minute, I know that it will all be worth it the moment we land in DC. We get 2 days of sightseeing before Children’s Congress actually starts, so I am excited about planning out what to visit. I already know that one of the first stops will be Georgetown Cupcake! But, of course, the part I am most looking forward to is helping my congressmen put a face to T1D. I am ecstatic knowing that all my efforts on this trip will be making a difference in the fight to cure diabetes, and I am forever grateful to JDRF for this opportunity! Stay online to read all my updates as I plan to blog the entire trip. It’ll be like you’re on Capitol Hill with me! :)

children’s congress ’13

I am so excited to announce that I have been selected to attend JDRF’s 2013 Children’s Congress as the Mississippi delegate. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity, because I have the privilege to speak to my state’s senators and representative about why funding a cure for type 1 is so important! No longer will type 1 diabetes be just a word on a bill, it’ll be my face. I hope that getting to create a relationship with my congressmen will show them that diabetes affects real people, just like me. As if anything could top this experience off, I will be attending on my 16th birthday! While most kids are getting a new car, I’ll be advocating to ensure a brighter future for America. A future where no more families have to lose a child to Type 1…

meeting mary poppins

Last night, I was given the amazing opportunity to attend Mary Poppins on tour. Madelene Trumble, who plays Mary Poppins, has been a Type 1 since her first day of kindergarten. JDRF arranged for about 10 Type 1’s to first meet 3 cast members before the show. They taught us the dance to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and then we were served dinner. After the show (which was incredible, I might add. If you have the opportunity to see it, you have to!), a few other cast members came on stage and answered everyone’s questions. When Madelene was asked how she manages her blood sugar on stage, tears streamed down her face. She said it was a constant battle and she learns something new everyday (something I think every Type 1 can relate to). Madelene Trumble was so sweet to stay even after that to talk to all the Type 1’s who came. Not only did she autograph and let us snap (more than a few) pictures, she actually took her time to interact with us. We shared laughs over comparing pumps, I showed her how my CGMS works, she answered questions about where she hides her pump when she’s on stage, and she shared how she stashes juice boxes everywhere backstage. I can’t imagine having those thousands of eyes on your every move while you’re singing and dancing, all the while worrying about whether your blood sugar is in check. Madelene is truly an inspiration for me, and all other Type 1’s. She has to chug juice during costume changes, hoping she will make it through her next scene. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet her and I can’t wait to see all the even greater things she will go on to do!Image