JDRF Fund A Cure: Gabe Leeper

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Dear family and friends,

I have written to most of you before as I wanted to share with you my life as I deal with Type One Diabetes. Managing my diabetes is a constant challenge for me, my Mom and Dad, and, of course, my two sisters.

I turned 13 this year and since I was diagnosed at 3 years of age, I cannot remember a time when I was free of needles, monitors, insulin, and all the medical stuff that keeps me safe and alive.
Last year many of you were very generous in supporting the JDRF organization in which my family is very involved. Your help gave me the chance to enjoy some things this past year that most teens take for granted.

The latest technology that really helps me is a CGM, (Continuous Glucose Monitor). It’s a big name and a small device, but it has made a huge difference for me. Now I have two pods that are injected and attached to my body and we change them out multiple times each week. The CGM can record and report my blood sugar readings to another device. In this case, the other device is my Mom’s iPhone. Because of this new equipment, I had my FIRST sleepover at a friend’s house. I was also able to go to a five-day sleep-away camp. Twice during the camp my sugar number dropped dangerously low. I was asleep in my bunk, my Mom saw the low reading on her iPhone. She called the Camp Counselor and they woke me up and gave me juice to drink.

The device is complicated and very technical but it works and it has changed my life. Mom watches my readings while I’m at school, playing soccer or wherever I am. I love playing soccer and during games my blood sugar levels can drop quickly. At one state cup championship game, I was dropping too low. At the break, I popped two sugar tabs and a juice and went back in to tie the game up with a score.
This year a third grader at my school was diagnosed, Claire, and it was the first time I saw another person “like me” walk the halls of Saint Margaret Mary. Claire is strong, and my goal is to be a voice for her and all newly diagnosed kids.

We still have many anxious moments and managing this disease is constant, but technology is making a difference. JDRF funds go entirely to research to produce new products and my biggest hope is to find a cure before I head off to college.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Gala on November 4th, as I want to come and support my Mom who is a Co-Chair of the event this year. Please consider a Fund A Cure donation as we need more new technology and an ultimate cure.

Thank you for listening and for your support.

-Gabe

If you’re interested in making a Fund A Cure donation to this year’s Imagine Gala click here.