Monday, April 13, 2009

{Walk For a Cure}

Most of you probably already know that two of my nephews, Aidan and Ryan, live with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. Ryan was diagnosed first at about 15 months of age and Aidan was diagnosed a few months later when he was just shy of 3. Since then, their parents and our entire family have been praying for a cure for this disease.

Initially, the boys had to have their blood tested numerous times every day and then they had shots of insulin administered to adjust their sugar levels. They were pricked constantly. Thankfully, they are both now on insulin pumps so they don't have to have the insulin shots every day. Instead, they have what are called site changes every few days, which basically means their parents move the pump injection site to a different part of their body: the backs of their arms or the tops of their butt cheeks being the primary spots. They still have to test their blood sugar constantly, though, so their little fingers always have tiny prick marks all over them. And their parents have to get up in the middle of the night - every night - to check their blood sugar to make sure they are OK while they sleep. Imagine never sleeping through the night again!

So many thousands of children are living with Type 1 Diabetes. It is becoming quite an epidemic. Aidan and Ryan are just two of the faces of this disease, and we are fighting to find a cure so they can live normal lives without the constant threats of sugar shock, comas, seizures (which Ryan had just a few weeks ago), and even death. Diabetes is a very serious disease and we need to find a cure.

For those who don't know Aidan and Ryan personally, they are both very active boys. Aidan (on the far right in the photo below) is extremely smart. He taught himself how to read before he entered Kindergarten and he doesn't forget a single thing he hears. He often tells us school is boring because he already knows it all! He loves putting things together, especially Legos. The more complicated it is, the more he likes it. Ryan (on the far left in the photo below) has always been ornery. He just has this look about him that tells you he has the potential to be up to no good, even though he is a total sweetie. He likes all the typical boy things: dinosaurs, sports, and play of all kinds. Both boys love tai-kwan-do (I hope I spelled that right) and are working their way through the ranks in their weekly classes. They also dote on their little sister, Kari, and are awesome big brothers in every way.

Aidan and Ryan are simply joys. They don't deserve to live with a disease like Diabetes! Last year their parents organized a team to walk in the Annapolis JDRF Walk For A Cure in Aidan and Ryan's names. The goal was to raise $10,000, and we did it!
Even though it was a windy, chilly day, we had a great time participating in the walk and knowing that we were helping to find a cure. Below is the team of family and friends who were able to walk together for Aidan and Ryan.

This year I am unable to physically walk for the team because of my pregnancy, but I still want to help my nephews and all the thousands of children like them who have Diabetes. The best way I can do this is to help raise money for the team.
If you are interested in donating to JDRF and Aidan and Ryan's Warrior Walkers, please leave a comment and let me know. I will be in touch with you to let you know exactly what to do. The walk is at the end of April, so I'm hoping to have all donations within the next two weeks.
Thank you so much for considering a donation! Every single dollar makes a difference and is so very appreciated. Researchers are so close to finding a cure, so close to making these kids' lives healthier and more normal. Until that happens, we will continue to be Aidan and Ryan's Warriors!

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