Juvenile Diabetes

Here’s a note from my good friend Liz.

Dear friends,

On October 26, for the second year in a row, our family will be taking part in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk to Cure Diabetes along with a half-million other walkers across the country. Our goal: To raise $100 million to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.

Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a devastating disease that affects millions of people…among them our 7-year old daughter, Emma.

Many people think type 1 diabetes can be controlled by insulin. While insulin does keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, it is NOT a cure. Aside from the daily challenges of living with type 1 diabetes, there are many severe, often fatal, complications caused by the disease.

Since being diagnosed two years ago, Emma has gone from multiple daily injections to using an insulin pump, a cell-phone sized device that she wears clipped to her waistband. The pump is connected to a tube that goes into the skin on her belly, and provides her with the daily insulin she needs to live. While a vast improvement over daily injections, the pump has its challenges. We need to change the site (where the tube enters her skin) every other day by putting a needle in her belly. We’ve been doing this since February, and it still scares her. She still needs to do finger sticks 8-10 times per day, and monitor every single thing she eats.

Emma is incredibly resilient. She is involved in all aspects of her care (checks her own sugar, counts her carbs, can use every feature of the pump). She helps to educate people around her about diabetes – for the past two years she and the school nurse have given lessons to her class on diabetes, the insulin pump, and finger sticks. What her classmates learn is what we have taught Emma since diagnosis: that she, and any child with diabetes, can do anything any other kid can – she just needs to take extra steps to take care of herself.

What is most significant to me at this point is how constant this care is. Her sugar levels are the first thing we check when she wakes up and the last thing we check before she goes to bed. Then we test again before we go to bed. If any adjustments need to be made, we check again 3 hours later. We are mindful of it when she eats (how many carbs and how much insulin) and when she rides her bike or does gymnastics (exercise can lower blood sugars). It is truly a 24/7 care regimen. We do it willingly because we love her, but we don’t love to do it. We would love to see a cure in her lifetime.

The good news is that this is within the realm of possibility. In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date. And JDRF funds a major portion of all type 1 diabetes research worldwide, more than any other charity.

Now, more than ever, you can make a crucial difference. Won’t you please give to JDRF as generously as possible? Together, we can make the cure a reality!

With gratitude,
Liz, Tom, Charlie and especially Emma Boucher
We are Emma’s Energy!

Please visit my Walk Web page if you would like to donate online or see how close I am to reaching my personal goal:


Follow this link to make a donation:


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