My name is Ashlea Chadwick. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes in October of 2009 at 15 years old. I was in foster care at the time of my diagnosis and it was a tremendously difficult time in my life. Since my diagnosis I have struggled a lot with managing this illness and have mostly done it all on my own as well. I have battled with my insurance companies over insulin and supplies, I’ve been denied the lifesaving insulin I require to live, I’ve even lost my insurance entirely because to them, T1D was not a cause for needing insurance. I have been using an insulin pump for almost two years now and I have had a lot less high blood glucose readings since starting it, but I have also had a lot of life threatening low blood glucose readings as well. Over the past year I have developed something called hypo unawareness, which means that I have a very hard time telling when my glucose is getting low and it has proved to be a serious and dangerous issue. I have had an ambulance called to revive me more times than I can count because my blood glucose dropped so low that I became unresponsive. It’s become so much of an issue that it’s affecting my activities of daily living, including going to work. Each time that my glucose drops, my brain and my organs are suffering. Hypoglycemia unawareness: A complication of diabetes in which the patient is unaware of a deep drop in blood sugar because it fails to trigger the secretion of epinephrine which generates the characteristic symptoms of hypoglycemia (such as palpitations, sweating, anxiety) that serve to warn the patient of the dropping.
My ultimate goal here is to raise enough money to get a diabetic alert dog also known as a D.A.D. A DAD is a service dog trained to alert me when my blood sugar starts dropping or starts rising too fast. I plan on moving out on my own soon and before I can do that safely and comfortably, I will need a service dog to help me, especially during the nighttime when my lows are the worst and most undetectable. This would mean the world to me. Getting a DAD for me also means getting the freedom to live my life without fear of not waking up one morning because my blood sugar plummeted and I couldn’t wake up in time to help myself. This means no more bills from the EMS because they keep having to come by and revive me from diabetic shock. This means no longer having to call out each time my sugar drops and I have to rest for the remainder of the day because it drained every ounce of energy I had. This is life changing for me and every donation is appreciated more than you could ever realize. Service dogs are amazing at their jobs and are amazing companions! I would be so lucky to finally get mine one day! Thank you so much if you’ve read this far and thank you even more if you’ve donated! From the bottom of my heart, thank you! -Ashlea
(if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask)
- Antonio Delgado
- Karrah Jeff
- Jenna Schmidt