Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Walk Success

Thank you to everyone who made it out to the Mall of America this past Saturday to support JDRF and the Walk to Cure Diabetes. A whopping 20,000 of you showed up to walk in support of your family and friends. We had a great time and as of Saturday had raised $2,000,000!!! Yes, there are six zeros after the two! ;) 

We want you to know that it's never too late. Although the walk is over, research is still being done and your donations make this possible. Click the "Donate" button at the top of the screen to make a donation now.

Your support brings us one step closer to a cure! Thank YOU!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Mentors help Type-1 diabetes patients

Timothy Blotz from Fox 9 News did a brief segment about JDRF. For this segment he interviewed our very own, Emily Greene! Click on the link below to view the segment.

Mentors help Type-1 diabetes patients

Hope to see you all at the walk tomorrow morning!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Life with Diabetes - Steph

Week 6 in our series and walk week is here! Be sure to join us this weekend at the Mall of America. 

This week we introduce to you, Steph. 

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 15 years ago at the age of eight years old. Like many of the other Life with Diabetes stories, I became very sick. Because it was February, my family and I assumed it was the flu, so I didn't go to the hospital right away. Once I went in, I ended up spending several days there because I was so sick and had lost so much weight. I still vividly remember that hospital visit and the way I felt, which has always motivated me to take care of myself and manage my diabetes.

Growing up, I was blessed to have wonderful encouragement and support from not only family and friends, but also my pediatric doctor Dr. Toni Moran. She said something to me very early on that has become my approach to taking care of diabetes. She said, "Steph, you are a healthy kid. You just need to take a few extra steps to stay healthy."

Although diabetes takes work, and can definitely be a challenge, I have never let it deter me from trying new things or continuing to do the things I love. When I was 12 years old, I started using an insulin pump to manage my diabetes, which has allowed me to have a very flexible schedule. That flexibility was what I needed as a kid: I went to overnight sports camps, played soccer, basketball, and track through high school, and went on to play soccer collegiately at Illinois Tech in Chicago. At Illinois Tech I graduated with a degree in Finance and I am now a financial analyst for Target Corporation.  I am passionate about traveling and have traveled all over the United States and Europe. 

There will always be ups and downs in managing diabetes, just like anything in life. The important thing I have found in successfully managing diabetes is maintaining a positive attitude, being open with others about having diabetes, and surrounding myself with people who will encourage and support me. I feel blessed to have my health, even though it might take me “a few extra steps!”

If you wold like to make a donation to support the YLC walk team, please click here.

Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life with Diabetes - Sarah

Week 5 in our Life with Diabetes series. Only 10 days until the Walk to Cure Diabetes!

Today we introduce to you, Sarah.

Every time I hear the word 'diabetes', I laugh. My co-workers, friends, family and others who know me are aware that I do not let things get in my way. Diabetes is just another example. 

I was diagnosed at the fine age of 19. Freshman in college, marching in the marching band at the University of Minnesota and feeling like utter crap. I got home from a bowl trip with the marching band and told my dear mother I felt like crap, and she simply replied, "I bet you have the flu." Nope, not even close. Finally, I land myself in the ER with my mother. Someone on the medical staff had the brilliant idea to test my blood glucose. My what?!

A finger prick later and a blood glucose reading of 701 and I became the newest member of the diabetic community. Cool, eh?!?! The doctors recommended I not develop an eating disorder, do not get pregnant and probably take a semester of school off to deal with this new "stress". Yeah. RIGHT. NO way was I going to let a little fussy pancreas get in my way of enjoying the rest of my start to my collegiate career, let alone keep me in Wisconsin!

I must say, the day that my pancreas decided to take a vacation was one of the best days of my life. I am not encouraging anyone to spend two days in the hospital with double IV's in their arms and learning how to count carbohydrates in a piece of bread and pasta. This auto-immune disease diagnosis has opened the door for more opportunities than I can imagine. 30+ triathlons and running races, 4 marathons and an Ironman race later, I am still standing with Type 1 Diabetes. Yep, read it again. I have NOT let anything stop me. 

Granted, I have not done any of this blindly. I have embraced my diagnosis as something of great opportunity. I continue to learn about glucose, fat burn, low's and high's and everything in between that will influence my performance as an endurance athlete. I have many friends and great leaders in the diabetic community that I meet every day and continue to fuel my passion to inspire others and NOT let diabetes stop them. In no way, shape or form can I say that being a fitness professional and athlete is easy, but it is pretty fun and entertaining to have an insulin pump, ipod and heart rate monitor on all at the same time. I love being a human science project and learning the most effective ways to get from point A to point B with diabetes!

No, not every day is flowers and puppy dogs, but I do believe that anything is possible. With the proper education and knowledge around diabetes and the proper management, it only fuels the fire for more great achievements for one and all. It's okay to trip up or make mistakes, but as long as you keep moving forward with diabetes management, anything is possible. 

If you wold like to make a donation to support the YLC walk team, please click here.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dogs Cured of Type 1 Diabetes

Emax Health recently published an article regarding a study performed on dogs, to cure type 1 diabetes. The researchers used gene therapy in the dogs, which led to complete remission of type 1 diabetes.

There was previous success with this study in mice, however this is the first success with gene therapy in large animals. This could mean great things for humans in the future!

Check out the full article.
Type 1 diabetes cured in dogs for the first time, paving the way for humans

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Life with Diabetes - Juliann

Week four in our Life with Diabetes series. Only 17 days until the walk to Cure Diabetes!

Today we introduce to you, Juliann.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 10 years ago, the day after Christmas - a day I remember vividly. I was 10 years old and had spent the past week on vacation in Colorado with my family. I should have been an energetic 10 year old having the time of my life, but instead I spent most of the vacation feeling sick (chills, exhaustion, confusion) and ended up sleeping more than I ever had - 10 hours per night, plus several 2-3 hour naps throughout the day. I can still remember putting on a pair of pants that had not long ago, fit me perfectly, but were now so big I was swimming in them - I had lost a TON of weight. I was scared to say how ill I felt and how scared I was. My dad also has Type 1 Diabetes, so as soon as we got home, my parents tested my blood sugar and it was really high - the rest is a blur. 

I honestly don't remember life before diabetes because I was so young, but I know my elementary school friends recall going on trips to the library with me to test my blood sugar throughout the day and have snacks with me. Every day since my diagnosis, has been full of blood testing and shots. On average I test five times a day and take five insulin injections per day. 

Diabetes is a huge part of my life and is constantly on my mind. Every single thing I eat, drink, or do affects my blood sugars. When I get low, I feel shaky, light headed, hot and tired. When I am high, I feel nauseous, exhausted and completely out of it. When my blood sugars are off, so is my mood and my patience. Luckily I am married to a nurse, so he understands for the most part! 

It's not easy. It is a constant challenge. It is a part of me and I am lucky to have amazing people in my life that have helped me take better care of myself. Being at the age and stage in my life when everyone wants to talk about children, it changes that for me too. Before we have kids, my blood sugars will need to be in much better control. I will have to be prepared for all of the complications that come along with being Type 1 Diabetic and pregnant. It's a lot to think about!

I have always wanted to be involved with JDRF, and finally made the connection in Minneapolis last fall (thanks Lauren!) and am now happily part of the Young Leadership Committee. It is fun and inspiring to be surrounded by so many people who understand and are dealing with similar situations.  Join myself, along with the YLC team in participating in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday, February 23rd - my first walk! 

Thank you for your support! xo

If you wold like to make a donation to support Juliann's walk team, please click here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's All About the Math

If you are diabetic, know a diabetic or have read any of our Life with Diabetes posts, you know that a large portion of a diabetic's day involves math. After much practice it get's easier, but what about when you are trying a new recipe or making something from scratch? It's not as easy as reading a label to know how many carbohydrates you're consuming.  Wouldn't life be easier if there were a pre-made label for every recipe?

Guess what?!?!?! SparkRecipes is just that. This awesome website allows you to plug in a recipe, it then calculates the information you entered and provides you with a nutrition label. This tool is great not only for diabetics, but for any health conscious person. Test your favorite recipe, you might be surprised at it's nutritional value!