I’ve mentioned JDRF a few times before in my blog. JDRF are a global charity that aim to find a cure for type 1 diabetes, and to support people living with the condition.
When I was diagnosed, I almost immediately applied to JDRF to run the marathon for them. (I’ll be asking the readers of this blog for sponsorship at some stage!) I wasn’t sure whether they’d have room for me, so sent them a link to my blog. They liked it, and asked me to write a short piece for their website, which has a “your stories” section about people living with diabetes. Click here if you’d like to read my story.
From a selfish point of view, I am actually more thankful for the support I’ve received from the JDRF than about their funding for research. Although both these things have already made a difference to me.
When I was first diagnosed, Dr Powrie gave me a pack from JDRF which contained loads of information – particularly a book written by JDRF which contained all the information I needed to understand the condition. It was a great support and the JDRF, Diabetes UK and Runsweet (written for athletes with type 1) websites are an invaluable source of information for me.
Other people with diabetes, parents of diabetic children, tax payers who fund our treatment, and of course myself, would all love for there to be a cure. And JDRF sponsors many strands of research (their tag-line is “treat, prevent, cure”), from better treatment of diabetes to artificial pancreas implants. I’m currently participating in a phase one trial funded by JDRF which may help stop the destruction of beta cells. (If I’m very lucky my immune system will slow down its attack as a result of the trial, and in any case I see a research nurse and doctor every fortnight which helps my understanding and management of type 1 enormously.) This would be amazing for diabetics. If someone could wave a wand and stop my immune system from destroying my insulin producing beta cells, I would be incredibly happy. I would still have to manage my diabetes with insulin, but I’m finding that living in the “honey moon phase”, where my body still produces some insulin, really isn’t that bad.
To prove this, here’s another fan chart of my blood glucose. A normal person will have blood sugar of between 4 and 7. The chart below shows that almost 95% of my blood sugar readings (at meal times, waking up, and bed time) are between 4 and 8. That is pretty good, and I hope (but don’t know) that my doctors will give me a pat on the back and tell me I don’t need to worry unduly about complications.