2021 JDRF Hope Gala Fund a Cure Speakers: The McClatcheys

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Dear JDRF Community,

Our family recently recognized a milestone – twenty-five years since our first diabetes diagnosis. That is twenty-five years of finger sticks, constant management, highs and lows and tremendous worry. But we have also seen twenty-five years of new technology, better treatments, and progress toward a cure.

Our family has been impacted by diabetes, not once or twice, but three times. Three of our four children live with type one diabetes. We support JDRF, not just for Mason, William, and Forester, as well as their sister Virginia, but for the millions living with this disease and our future generations.

When Mason was first diagnosed, his glucose meter required 45 seconds to display a measurement, and he had to take his fast-acting insulin “R” at least 30 minutes before mealtime. His long acting insulin had to be given at the same times every day exactly 12 hours apart and he had to have the same number of carbs every day for lunch exactly 4 hours after his morning injection. That insulin was also very unpredictable and could often lead to unexpected high blood sugars and dangerous low blood sugars. It was a complicated schedule for a five-year-old and there was no sleeping in for the McClatcheys!

Nine years later, our son William was diagnosed. This time around, we knew the symptoms, and when we began to see them, our hearts sank. We had come a long way in 9 years – glucose meters only needed 5 seconds, CGMs were about to be introduced and fast-acting insulin “H” could be taken right at mealtime – but we were still devastated for our child.

After William was diagnosed, we participated in a JDRF funded study and learned that our other son, Forester, had a strong chance of getting diabetes too. We made it our mission to do everything in our power to keep him from getting it. If it had been an animal attacking our children, we would have killed it with our bare hands. But diabetes is an invisible enemy. Even when you know it’s lurking out there just outside the light of the campfire, you can’t keep it from attacking your children.

Just over a decade ago, when Forester was eventually diagnosed after a random blood sugar test, we nearly crumbled. We felt helpless under the weight of this disease. But we knew there was one thing we could do – raise money for diabetes research. So, Anne wrote a letter to everyone we knew about Forester’s diagnosis. She told them that if they wanted to reach out and lend a helping hand, instead of bringing a casserole it would help so much if they donated to JDRF. We called it the “instead of casseroles campaign.”

In hindsight, one blessing for our two younger sons was that we understood diabetes before their diagnosis. With Mason, we had no family history of diabetes and or knowledge of T1D, and he was dangerously ill at diagnosis. We spent three days in the hospital learning about T1D while he recovered from Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). Today, thanks to JDRF’s development of low cost, at home T1D screening technology, we can predict who will likely develop T1D, and we hope that the advance notice will prevent devastating episodes like Mason’s. JDRF is also driving immune therapies that may delay the onset of T1D. We are continuing to see amazing advances in the technology for T1D.

Our family has continued to celebrate milestones, including our next generation, our two granddaughters, who we pray will never face a diabetes diagnosis in their lifetimes. We also continue to raise money for JDRF. JDRF has given our family hope and allowed us the opportunity to pay that hope forward through connecting with others. From participating in events, serving as outreach volunteers, educating other parents, and hosting research events, our family is fully committed. We know that JDRF is going to be the organization that cures T1D.

So, this year, instead of casseroles, JDRF could use all your support to Fund a Cure. Please consider your past support and renew that commitment to funding JDRF’s life-changing research in whatever way you choose.

On the evening of Saturday, May 1st, at 7:30 pm, the T1D community will come together via a live-streamed broadcast filled with inspiration, entertainment, and a shared determination to find a cure for type one diabetes. The Hope Gala – Celebrating Progress will be an unforgettable evening honoring the T1D community’s philanthropic spirit, reminding the world that we’re not backing down until we cure this disease.

Here are the ways you can help us:

  • Make a fully tax-deductible gift to Fund A Cure today. Fund A Cure donations will be directly invested in JDRF’s effective and focused research agenda aimed at progressively removing the impact of T1D from people’s lives until there is a cure.
  • Gather your family, friends, and others in your “bubble” to join us on May 1st. Be a Table Host with a Twist and host your very own party with a purpose. From an intimate family dinner to a backyard barbeque, the choice is yours.
  • Register to be participate in this exciting event by texting georgiahopegala2021 to 243-725.

By giving to JDRF, you are unlocking millions of additional dollars for T1D research. Because of you, there are now more than 150 active grants and 75 clinical trials – any one of which could hold the key to the next exciting breakthrough or the ultimate cure for our kids.

Your continued investment in JDRF’s mission is what’s most important. From our family to yours, thank you for making a difference.

Thank you,
Anne & Penn McClatchey