“The writing was on the walls,” said Rebecca Dawson when she reflected back on her daughter Ava’s type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosis. It was two summers ago when Ava, then 8, started showing common symptoms, including ravenous hunger, insatiable thirst, frequent urination and weight loss.
As a dietician, Rebecca had a gut feeling it could be T1D but at the same time didn’t want to know. Faced with the unimaginable, Rebecca scheduled an appointment with Ava’s pediatrician, where they administered a glucose and urine test. Immediately after, when it was confirmed Ava had Diabetic ketoacidosis, she was rushed to the emergency room, where she went on to spend the next couple of days in ICU.
Rebecca added, “We were just shell-shocked. We spent those first few weeks at home worrying for no less than five hours each day.”
Since her diagnosis two years ago in September 2015, Ava is back in full force. A gymnast since the age of six, Ava continues her passion on the mat, in addition to swimming and field hockey. “Although it’s life changing and there are no days off, you can still do whatever you want,” said Rebecca.
As Ava grows older and becomes more independent, Rebecca has enjoyed getting to know other families affected by this disease that affects 1.25 million Americans.
“There’s just an instant connection,” she added. This year, Rebecca served as a One Walk-Dexter Team Coach, helping to support and encourage team fundraising efforts.
JDRF One Walk has one goal: to create a world without T1D. We know you want to make a cure a reality too—and there’s still time to join by registering today.