Why YOU Should Walk for Type 1 Diabetes

On September 22, 2019, a One Walk event will take place in Portland at Portland International Raceway. Organizers of the annual 5K have set a goal of raising $250,800 this year. Proceeds will fund type 1 diabetes research and support outreach programming. This is a perfect “give back” opportunity for workplace teams, high school teams, clubs and families. Below you’ll find additional information about this great cause as well as five ways YOU can make a difference.

What is Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)?

Approximately 1.25 million Americans are living with type 1 diabetes. Every year, 40,000 people are diagnosed with the disease. Currently, there is no cure for this chronic condition.

Like type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes affects the body’s ability to regulate glucose. Because maintaining proper glucose levels plays an important role in a person’s health, this can lead to serious complications.

The exact cause of t1d is not known. However, it often appears to have a hereditary link, and it may also be caused by viral infections and environmental factors. Unlike t2d, t1d is not linked to diet or lifestyle.

T1d has often been thought of as a childhood disease, but it impacts both children and adults, and people can be diagnosed with it at any age. However, adults with t1d may be misdiagnosed with t2d. Because the treatments are different, this can be a serious issue. A study from the University of Exeter found that misdiagnosis occurs in more than one-third of adults with t1d. Theresa May, Prime Minister of the U.K., has t1d but was initially misdiagnosed as having t2d.

How is T1D Treated?

Although there is no cure for t1d, people who have been diagnosed with the disease can live long and happy lives through proper management of the disease. In addition to regular medical checkups and screening for complications, managing t1d requires three daily elements:

  • Medicine: People with t1d need to take insulin. They may also be prescribed other medicines, including drugs that work with insulin to help control glucose levels and blood pressure drugs.
  • People with t1d need to monitor their blood sugar levels. They also need to monitor the carbohydrates they eat in order to maintain a healthy insulin to carb ratio.
  • Diet and exercise. Although diet and lifestyle to not appear to contribute to the development of t1d, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly can help people manage the condition.

Why is More Research Needed?

Managing t1d is a difficult and time-consuming process. This is why more research into the disease is essential. JDRF is dedicated to ending t1d. While finding a cure is the top priority, research into better treatment options and prevention measures is also important.

Here are just a few of the areas where we’re helping to fund research:

  • Vaccines could prevent t1d. Because t1d diabetes has been linked to a viral infection, a vaccine against that virus could prevent at least some cases of the disease.
  • Artificial pancreas systems simplify blood-glucose monitoring and management. This technology holds tremendous promise, but more work is needed to create small devices with open systems that can control blood sugar even while people are eating or exercising.
  • Beta cell replacement is an emerging therapy that could restore insulin-producing beta cells. More work is needed to improve this treatment and expand availability. Research into beta cell regeneration, which would allow the body to produce new beta cells, is also promising.

Five Ways to Get Involved

We need your support. The JDRF One Walk events are a fun way for groups to show support and help raise the funds needed to continue important research into t1d.

Help us meet our goal of raising $250,800 at the September 22 One Walk event. Here’s are five ways to get involved:

  1. Register as a team captain here by choosing the “Register a New Team” option. Once you register your team, you will be prompted to create your team page where you can invite other people to join your team and get information.
  2. If you’ve walked in the past, you can also re-register an existing team using this link.
  3. Attend our walk kick-off celebration at Oaks Park on June 22. Learn more. The kick-off event is optional. You can register your team there or come and enjoy a day of fun if you’ve already registered. If your team isn’t ready by June 22, it’s not a big deal. You can still register your team any time before September 22.
  4. If you don’t have a team, but you’d like to walk as an individual or join another team, you can do that as well. Register here.
  5. If your organization would like to support t1d research in other ways, we also offer corporate sponsorship opportunities and businesses that are open to the public (such as retailers and restaurants) are invited to participate in Sneaker Sale fundraising. Contact Delanie Delmont for more information.