Addy – Age 10
My story begins less than two years ago when I was eight years old. I started to have some real trouble with my pancreas, but we didn’t know why yet. I felt bad all the time; I was losing weight and nothing seemed to be going right. Finally, my parents took me to the doctor for some tests. That morning I remember that I had to skip breakfast because of the testing, which made me feel even worse. At the hospital, they checked my blood sugar and it was 33! I had to have an emergency shot of glucagon to bring my blood sugar back up. For some of you a blood sugar of 33 may not mean much, but trust me, that’s really low! A normal blood sugar is around 100.
Although living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) was new to me, it wasn’t new to our family. My sister, Willa, was diagnosed in 2013 at the age of nine. When I was diagnosed, I remember that one of the ways I knew it was serious was that my sister suddenly started being extra nice to me. As I look back at my diagnosis, I remember being really scared. I kept hoping that someone could just fix everything, but now I know that T1D isn’t like that. It requires constant care and attention. Every day. All day. At night, too. Weekends. On vacation. Even Christmas!
In a lot of ways, I am a totally normal ten year old. I love to read, spend time with friends, and draw. I am often singing and dancing through our house. Most of all, I love my dog Lola (it took me two years to convince my parents to buy me a dog, but it finally worked)!
I’m happy to have the newest pump—the Medtronic 670G. This pump works with my continuous glucose monitor (or CGM for short) and uses a computer program to adjust the amount of insulin I’m getting all the time. Even with a pump, T1D isn’t easy. I have cried a lot about T1D over the last year because I have felt sad, tired, and scared. Sometimes I feel alone because of T1D. However, when I’m in a room filled with people who understand the struggles of this disease, such as last Saturday at the 2018 JDRF La Crosse Winter Gala, I am reminded that I am not alone.
I will need to take insulin for the rest of my life or until JDRF finds a cure. With support and love from people like my family and friends, my cure, the cure for my sister, and for millions of children and adults will be found. No one can find that cure by themselves, but if we work together I know we can do it!
Addy is currently serving as the 2017-2018 JDRF La Crosse Youth Ambassador. She has participated in the JDRF One Walk and was just apart of the 2018 JDRF La Crosse Winter Gala as their Fund A Cure speaker. If you would like to donate to Fund A Cure, you still can by visiting the JDRF La Crosse Gala website. Thank you to Addy and her family for sharing their story and setting a great example for the T1D community!
If you want to submit a story about your diabetes journey like Addy, please contact Jen Allen!