Monday, November 1, 2010

November is Juvenile Diabetes Month

This is my niece, Avery.  Isn't she beautiful?  Avery is a very accomplished 12 year old.  She is an incredible tennis player, a flautist, a good student and a great cousin/friend.  And this is just the tip of the Avery iceberg.  She's a dog lover, a fashionista, a wearer of dangly earrings and Ugg boots, and a fan of all Norwegian Christmas cookies .  She has a fantastic sense of humor and is so polite that she knows how to look an adult in the eye when they talk to her.  Avery knows the lyrics to most Top 40 songs and will happily sing them for you if she thinks you aren't listening.  When Avery was one year old, she used to a dance in her car seat every time Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" came on the car radio and when she was three or four, she once almost passed out with excitement over receiving a pair of pink "glubs" for Christmas. 

Avery is also a diabetic.  Right now she wears an insulin pump which helps control her blood sugar levels and cuts down on the amount of time she has to be pricked every day.  I'm sure that she has noticed the difference but to the rest of us, she still seems like a human pincushion.  As a diabetic, Avery will be insulin-dependent for the rest of her life.  Everything she eats must be weighed and measured and the carbohydrates counted to determine the amount of insulin she needs.  It's like having a math test with every meal. 

Everywhere she goes, she must remember her diabetes.  She carries a mini backpack of supplies at all times.  My sister and brother-in-law often have to check her blood sugar levels in the middle of the night.  And you should see what my sister goes through every time Avery's pump site has to be changed.  Insulin keeps Avery and other people with type 1 diabetes alive, but 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.  The good news, however, is that a cure for type 1 diabetes is within reach, hopefully within Avery's lifetime.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) funds a major portion of all type 1 diabetes research worldwide, more than any other charity.  November is Juvenile Diabetes Month and if you are looking for a great charity to donate to and a good cause to support, this is it.  Please consider giving to JDRF this holiday season. 

Below is a direct link to the JDRF donation page.  Thank you!

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