My name is Sherri Lynn Wells I live in Gander, Newfoundland in Canada. I am 29 years old and have been a Type 1 Diabetic for 17 years; since I was 12.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease where the immune system attacks the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. Our bodies need insulin in order to use the food we eat as energy. Without insulin, the body cannot function. Unfortunately, the cause is unknown, and there is NO WAY to prevent this type of diabetes and there is NO CURE.
The challenge of Type 1 diabetes is to keep my blood sugar in the same range as someone without diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes affects my life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. I have to count the carbohydrates I eat, prick my finger to test my blood sugar 10 times a day (minimum) and watch for symptoms of high or low blood sugar. Food, exercise, illness, stress, mental exertion, etc. all affect my blood sugar levels. If my blood sugar gets too low, I can have seizures and slip into a coma. If it gets too high, it can cause complications such as blindness, neuropathy (nerve damage: pain and numbness in my limbs), amputation of limbs, kidney failure, heart disease, the inability to heal from infections and reduced life expectancy.
Currently I have to inject myself 6-10 times a day. That's 42-70 times a week, 168-280 a month and 2[phone redacted] a year. WOW!
An INSULIN PUMP is an electronic device that uses a tiny tube to deliver insulin into your body. This tubing only needs to be changed every 3-4 days. This would mean I'd only need to puncture my skin a few times a week or 12-16 times a month and only 91 to 121 a year.
According to health professionals and multiple studies, insulin pumps are the most effective way to manage Type 1 Diabetes as they more closely mimic a healthy pancreas. The pump has been proven to reduce the incidence of high and low blood sugars. This means that people on the pump experience fewer complications and a better quality of life than those who use injections.
There is also a device called a Continuous Glucoses Monitor (CGM). There is a sensor that you stick to you body and change once a week. This device comes with a receiver which looks like an MP3 player. It gives you your blood sugar reading every 5 minutes, alerts you of lows, highs, and where you are headed. This combined with insulin pump therapy has been shown to reduce A1C levels. ( a 3 months average of blood sugars).
Due to diabetes, I have developed Diabetic Retinopathy which affects the vision in my left eye. I’ve already had a vitrectomy surgery in March, 2015. If my blood sugar levels continue to fluctuate as they do currently, I will lose the vision in that eye. The pump will allow me to have better control and help to slow down my vision loss as well as prevent other complications.
In Newfoundland, our government will cover the cost of an insulin pump if you are 25 years old or younger. I do not qualify for this assistance. An insulin pump and CGM costs around $8500.00 CAD which I cannot afford on my own. I am asking for help so that I will have better control over my diabetes, better quality of life, and so that I will have the opportunity to slow down other complications.
Below is a picture of an insulin pump.
Below is a link to a short video explaining what a CGM does.
Below is a link which talks about where experts have researched insulin pump therapy versus Multiple Daily Injections.
I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who has already contributed in ANY way and made this campaign successful this far. Thank you all so much!!
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