Lisa Rozich-Klingbiel of Grand Ledge remembers “pestering my mom constantly for drinks of water” before she was diagnosed 45 years ago with type one diabetes at the age of six.
“My parents thought it was attention seeking behavior at first, but when the problem persisted, she took me to the doctor,” Lisa recalls.
No one else in the family had a history of T1D, and at the time, the process included monthly visits for blood and daily urine testing so doctors could adjust the dosage of her insulin, since real-time home glucose monitoring was still a thing of the future.
When Lisa’s son Steven began exhibiting symptoms of his own, also at age 6, Lisa didn’t want to believe he too would join the battle over T1D. While he slept, she tested his fingers and toes with her own glucometer, confirming elevated sugar levels in his blood.
“It’s difficult as a parent to see what’s coming for your kids in dealing with T1D,” said Lisa. “At least technological advances have made coping with T1D easier. My son’s continuous glucose monitor sends information about his readings to an app on his phone, alerting him earlier to when his levels need to be adjusted through his insulin pump.”
Like Lisa’s family, Amy Monroe’s family, of East Lansing, was surprised when her daughter Rachel was diagnosed with T1D at age nine, since diabetes didn’t run in the family. However, when Rachel started exhibiting symptoms – frequent urination, excessive thirst and mood swings – Amy recognized what that could mean because her stepfather, who passed away at age 35, was type one diabetic.
“The first three months are terrible, but it does get better,” said Amy. “Rachel is very athletic, but when she’s on the field, activity tends to make her sugar levels go high. We had to make adjustments so she could continue to do the things she likes to do in a safe way.”
Both families became involved with JDRF to receive and give support. Lisa and her husband are in charge of finding volunteers for JDRF’s East Lansing One Walk and were instrumental in assisting the Metro Detroit/Southeast Michigan chapter in launching the walk in East Lansing 11 years ago. Amy and her daughter formed Team Rachel and in their second year, they raised more than $1000. In fact, Rachel won JDRF’s “Fire It Up” Award for her enthusiasm in supporting the mission.
JDRF’s East Lansing One Walk, taking place Saturday, August 1, is expected to draw an enthusiastic crowd of more than 2,000 participants of all ages, driven to support a great cause while enjoying an event that includes entertainment, Alexandra Ilitch from TV6, MSU Football and food. On-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m., at “The Rock” near Farm Road and Auditorium at Michigan State University. The entire JDRF One Walk will be approximately 1 or 3 miles long, depending on the route chosen, starting and ending at The Rock.
JDRF One Walk is the most powerful peer-to-peer fundraising program in the world for T1D, raising more than $68 million annually. Since 1992, the event has raised more than $1 billion dollars for life-changing T1D research—research that has led to breakthrough discoveries, many of which have already moved into clinical trials and real-world testing.
For more information about the East Lansing One Walk and other dates, click here.