What I Wish People Knew . . .

Living with T1D

Kicking off National Diabetes Awareness Month and celebrating T1D Day, offers a special opportunity to give voice to those who struggle with the disease day in and day out – and help everyone else understand and better support a friend, a sister, a co-worker, even a stranger.

It is this month and on this day that we should embrace the notion that we are all in this together, and the more we understand, the more we can be of help.

“Life with type 1 diabetes means constant monitoring and management, so it helps to have a strong, educated community that understands the needs of people with living with T1D,” said Derek Rapp, JDRF president and CEO. “At JDRF we strive to ensure that the burdens of T1D are not life-long and are hard at work to prevent the disease in future generations. Until we find a cure, we are working to make life with T1D safer and easier for individuals and families facing this disease.”

More money is being spent on T1D research than in any other time in history, and for every dollar JDRF invests, an additional $2.50 is brought into the field.  

“If everyone understood just five main things about T1D, it would make life for those of us living with the disease a little bit easier,” said JDRF employee, South Florida Chapter volunteer and T1D Champion Amanda Di Lella.

Know that:

  • You can’t prevent T1D and there is currently nothing we can do to make it go away. It is an autoimmune disease.
  • It’s complicated, making every single day different and a challenge.
  • We think about T1D and how we are doing 24-7. Always.
  • T1D affects us emotionally and mentally. Not just physically. It takes a toll.
  • We need to plan for everything, all the time, in advance. Exercise, working late, traffic, travel, invitations to a party or event.

“If you know someone with T1D, let them know that they are doing a great job. Living with this disease isn’t easy but it’s nice to know that there are people who support us.”

Watch and share Amanda’s YouTube video today and all through the month. Also, watch other shareable videos on JDRF’s YouTube Channel.

 T1D is a chronic, life-threatening autoimmune disease that can strike children and adults at any age. It requires rigorous 24/7 monitoring of blood glucose levels—even overnight—to avoid potentially lethal highs and lows in blood sugar, as well as other devastating complications like kidney, eye and nerve diseases. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset is sudden and is not related to diet or lifestyle. In T1D, the body’s immune system destroys cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, meaning the body produces little to no insulin to regulate blood sugar and get energy from food. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.