Making a difference in the battle against Type 1 diabetes

Student walks for a cure

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Senior Brooke Hoenigschmidt writes about her battle with Type 1 diabetes and why she walks for a cure.

Brooke Hoenigschmidt, Media Staff

Every year for as long as I can remember there has been a type 1 diabetes walk at the Mall Of America to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes research foundation. Type 1 Diabetes is a disease where the patient’s pancreas produces little or no insulin. That means they need to check their blood glucose at least 4 times a day and give themselves insulin after every time they eat or their blood glucose is high. 

JDRF is a foundation that funds type one diabetes research and actively advocates for type 1 diabetes research for patients with this disease. They do many different tests and try many devices to help improve the lives of those affected by this disease. When JDRF first was funded they just focused on finding a cure but, in the 2000s it broadened its research by finding out better ways to live with type 1 diabetes and create devices to manage patients’ blood glucose. 

For the past thirteen years my family, friends and I have been attending the JDRF walk.I was diagnosed in 2006 and since 2007 we have been going to the JDRF walk, but in 2008 we decided to make my own team called “Brooke’s Pit rCew’. When you make your team it means you try to raise as much money as you can. That money from all the teams goes to JDRF. My team this year raised about $2,500 – my goal was $2,200. Over the past twelve years my team has raised about $25,000 dollars. We have made shirts for all my friends and family to wear on this day and  the money from my supporters goes to my team’s goal.

From the time I was diagnosed to now, there have been so many devices and systems to make my life easier. I used to have to prick my finger 4-5 times a day before I eat or if I felt that my blood glucose was off, I also would have to give myself shots in my stomach or arm after every time I ate. Now I have an insulin pump, there is an infusion set that I put in my arm or stomach with a tube that the insulin goes through then the pump, which allows me to get the insulin I need without giving myself a shot. A recent device I got is a continuous glucose monitor. A “CGM” is another patch that goes on my arm with a sensor so I do not have to prick my finger ever. I have an app on my phone that tells me my blood glucose level and sends me notifications if my glucose is getting too high or too low.

JDRF does an amazing job at researching and finding ways to make having diabetes better, improved and hopefully one day they will find a cure. Even though the money my team has raised does not go to me and help with my diabetes supplies, I will always continue to do as much as I can to help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and continue to support JDRF. 

 

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