On July 19th, Mike Agee, the President of the Columbus JDRF chapter, asked if I would do a brief overview of the latest enhancements in type 1 diabetes research at a corporate breakfast hosted by the JDRF One Walk sponsor CAS. No doubt, I was happy to assist.
I was proud of how well prepared I was to do the task (not to toot my own horn). But I knew, going into the presentation, my professional face and poise would be challenged as type 1 diabetes and JDRF hit so close to home.
After introducing myself and highlighting one of the many reasons I choose to support JDRF is not only bc they have been there for me and my family through my entire diabetes journey (nearly 27 yrs) but their commitment to achieving real results.
While a cure is an ultimate goal, JDRF is committed to doing the greatest good for the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time—this means better therapies, better treatments and better access to these advances until we have a cure for this disease.
In the presentation, I clarified the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, yet both forms of diabetes can cause horrific complications. I struggled to explain this point, as my throat got a lump in it, and tears filled my eyes. I have witnessed people close to me go through all of these complications: kidney disease/failure, eyesight conditions/blindness, cardiovascular conditions/heart attack and nerve disease/neuropathy. I need you help.
I’ve dedicated my career to helping people with diabetes, yet, my advocacy and work aren’t enough. Type 1 diabetes is a small fraction of the total diabetic population, and to be frank, this disease isn’t the biggest money maker for Pharma to invest in. We need to fundraise through organizations like JDRF to get the advancements to save lives.
JDRF is making progress and had some significant wins the last several years. One of those wins was in 2017 when Medtronic released the first ever hybrid closed-loop system to automate the dosing of insulin – known as the 670G. This product has relieved a significant portion of the mental burden of managing T1D.
Without JDRF initial funding, this device would NOT be commercially available for an estimated 5-6 more years from now. Do you know how many lives are saved from this? From someone who has had 5 seizures in my life, from low blood sugar, and a majority of those taking place in my sleep, this is a huge deal. Research and advances like this is why we still need funding and I need your help.
If you are local to Columbus, Ohio, I invite you to walk with me as part of, “Kelly’s Dream Team,” on Sunday, September 30th.
JDRF is helping make this disease easier, they are funding research to prevent more type 1 diabetes diagnoses, and JDRF research is the HOPE for all of us with type 1 to find a cure.
If you are not able to walk with me on Sept 30th, please consider donating to my team as I am $4,000 under my goal, and spread the word on type 1 awareness. If you generously want to donate to my team, please also consider if your company does a match to your contribution.