We take shots, many shots, every day, just to live a life as normal as everyone else. Shots are good, because they keep us alive, but they're also sometimes painful, awkward to take in public, annoying to carry around everywhere, and don't always do the best job to keep our diabetes under control.
Queue the insulin pump... a miracle worker for diabetics and the next closest device to an artificial pancreas or cure for diabetes. An insulin pump is a very expensive device but offers a significant improvement in overall quality of life and greatly reduces the potential of long term and fatal complications of type 1 diabetes. Pumps very effectively regulate the flow of insulin to the body automatically based on metrics that you feed into the machine through regular blood sugar tests and carbohydrate counts from the food we eat. They are the best chance a diabetic has to keep blood sugar in the proper range to live a long and healthy life.
These pumps are not covered under our health coverage at work nor are they covered by Manitoba Health for people over the age of 18. We both have young families and at $7000 each, we simply cannot afford the cost of these life changing devices. Other provinces cover the cost of pumps and for good reason... There has been research done in Alberta that proves the cost to the government to supply a pump to all type 1 diabetics is significantly less than the ongoing costs associated with caring for diabetics suffering from long term complications. I've reached out to various MLA's, Minister of Health, even the Premier of MB with limited to no response. Still trying :)
I know that $14000 is a very large amount of money to ask for. If I am able to raise just half of the money, I will use it to outfit my twin brother, Josh with a pump first. If I am able to raise more than my goal, the rest will be donated to the Canadian Diabetes Association. Any contribution is greatly appreciated and will go a long way to help one of us, both of us, or many like us stay healthy!!
Oh... one more thing...
As my friends and family know, I have been a casual runner for the last few years as a way to stay as healthy as I can. My longest distance run in a competitive event to this point has been 10KM.
If I am able to acheive half my fundraising goal, I will commit to run the 12.1 mile Manitoba Half Marathon. If I am able to acheive my complete goal and outfit both Josh and I with insulin pumps, I will commit to run the 26.2 mile Manitoba Full Marathon. I will do this for all of you who have supported us from the days of our initial diagnosis, for all of you who support us in this cause, and for all of you who continue to support us day in and day out! Oh and Josh... you're running with me ;)
Thank you for your support!! And thank you for taking the time to read this and for considering making a donation to help us.
What's diabetes and how does it affect people?
With diabetes, the pancrease no longer produces insulin, the key that unlocks sugar from the bloodstream to be distributed where it belongs in the body. Without insulin, sugar accumulates in the bloodstream causing some uncomfortable side effects... blurred vision, lethargy, irritability, headaches, nausea, extreme unquenchable thirst, frequent urination, the list goes on. With too much insulin, symptoms are more serious and come on quickly... sweating, shakiness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, headache, hunger, panic... if not treated with sugar quickly, seizures, loss of consciousness and death will result. Fluctuations in blood sugar over the course of many years can lead to very serious complications... kidney failure, stroke, heart disease, blindness, nerve damage, impotence (oh my!), and early death. To properly manage diabetes, insulin injections, proper diet, exercise, and blood sugar monitoring are critical. Diabetics require up to 6 needles per day, every day. While this helps maintain proper blood sugar, fluctuations can still happen regularly since routine injections aren't the most effective way to maintain a proper blood sugar. As a result, even with good blood sugar control, complications often occur later in life. Keeping blood sugar as close to a target range of 4 - 6 is key to good health and prolonging complications and early death.
- The Thiessen Six
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