The redhead is my daughter, Leigh Richards. Twenty years ago this week, a doctor at Egleston Children’s Hospital diagnosed her with diabetes. She was 19 months old. She was just learning to talk. She slept in a crib. She was tiny.
Every day since then, she’s depended on insulin injections or insulin pump infusions to keep her alive. She’s had to puncture her fingers to test her blood glucose levels several times each day. She’s quite accustomed to it. She doesn’t moan and cry about it. Her health is good.
Diabetes is a nasty disease. It slowly erodes the health of its victims, some more than others. At the twenty-year mark, Leigh is now at the point where she might expect to begin to see such effects. This, despite the fact that her hemoglobin A1C benchmarks have been considerably better-than-average for persons with diabetes. She’ll need a lifetime of luck and self-discipline to avoid complications.
On October 17, Leigh is leading a team on the 2009 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for a Cure. It takes place at Centennial Park at 8am. I’m walking with Leigh’s team.
We’d like nothing better than to have readers of this blog join us.
Click here to register. Click the team “chicks before pricks” (Leigh is referring to the finger-pricks required to draw blood to test blood glucose levels). The team’s facebook page is here. To donate directly to JDRF, please click here. (It could be that your employer has a program to match donations. Gannett is such an employer, despite it financial straits.)
There may be a T-shirt involved. It kinda depends on the turnout and our ability to pull it off.
We’d love to see you there. Or simply take your money on behalf of JDRF.