Starting June 14th 2014, I will be undertaking a phenomenal 10-day journey to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro with the goal of raising funds for JDRF, the leaders in research for Type 1 Diabetes. Mt. Kili is the highest freestanding mountain in the world, reaching altitudes of almost 20,000 feet. For any hope of successfully reaching the summit, this venture requires a huge amount of endurance and fitness training. I will partake in this adventure with a group of Type 1 Diabetics and several medical professionals (specializing in diabetes) from around the world.
I've lived with Type 1 Diabetes for almost 30 years. I have no major complications because of numerous factors- maintaining a strict focus on diet & active lifestyle, close monitoring by medical specialists, administration of insulin (a life sustaining medication that is produced naturally in the pancreas of non-diabetics) throughout the day, and of course depending on God to see me through. Diabetes is a life threatening illness if not closely monitored and treated every day. Type 1 diabetics must maintain a strict diet and check blood sugars 6-10 times daily while trying to keep it within as close to a normal range as possible, in order to avoid consequences such as blindness, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, amputations, or death. Keeping sugars in this range is no easy feat (actually impossible) since food, exercise, illness, and stress all effect blood sugars and cause unwanted fluctuations that make everyday living even more challenging, draining, and frustrating.
This venture serves 3 purposes for me. First and foremost, it is fulfilling a dream that I've had for decades. I have always wanted to scale this mighty and beautiful mountain, but I was hesitant to attempt such a challenge because I realize that there are just too many risk factors with Type 1 Diabetes, especially without the medical support necessary to be safe. This trip offers the opportunity that I never thought possible- to climb this mountain with medical supervision and the camaraderie of at least 19 other Type 1 Diabetics in a closely monitored environment. Secondly, this trip gives me the chance to raise money for JDRF. JDRF is the leading foundation in Type 1 Diabetes research, and it is through them that I have benefitted from phenomenal progress in diabetes treatment throughout my life. I hope to raise $5895 before June of 2014: not much time! Why $5895? Because this is the number of meters to Uhuru Peak, the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Of course I would be thrilled to raise even more! Thirdly, this trip allows me to show other Type 1 Diabetics that anything is possible. Often this disease leaves us feeling helpless and beat-down. Sometimes we are embarrassed about it. I want to inspire other Type 1's to take control of their lives, to live their dreams and passions, instead of letting Type 1 Diabetes control YOU.
Please consider donating to my Climb to the Top for Type 1 Diabetes. I need your help!!! Your financial support goes directly to JDRF and a small percentage (20%) does go to necessary trip expenses such as airfare, medical supplies, equipment, travel insurance, etc. Also, please spread the word and forward to anyone whom you think may be interested. This is an incredible opportunity, please consider being a part of it by donating whatever you can, large or small, and by spreading the word to anyone and everyone that you can. I want to represent all Type 1 Diabetics when I CHOOSE to say, diabetes doesn't stop me!
If you are interested in contributing to help support me in this venture, please click on the link above to make a donation. Thank you for whatever you can offer financially, large or small, and thank you also for any prayers you can offer on my journey!
For additional adventure details: http://www.jdrf.org.uk/get-involved/join-in-an-event/treks/jdrf-climb-kilimanjaro
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