To The Editor:
Every year, approximately 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, known as Type 1 diabetes, the severest form of the disease. Most of them are under the age of 30, and almost half are children. Juvenile diabetes takes a harsh toll on young bodies. Not only will they be insulin-dependent for life, but devastating complications such as blindness, vascular damage and kidney failure are an ever-present threat. Controlling the disease imposes a grueling regimen. It includes eating a carefully calculated diet, checking blood glucose levels several times each day and as many as six insulin injections each day. It means living by the clock, day and night, for life.
Our 9-year-old daughter is one of the approximately 3 million Americans living with Type 1 diabetes. She was diagnosed at age 5 1/2. She is doing very well and leads a full and active life.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation was begun in 1970 by parents of children with this disease. Their stated goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from peoples lives until we achieve a world without T1D. In 2012, they provided more than $110 million to Type 1 research.
One of the projects they are currently funding is a multi-year initiative to help accelerate the availability of an artificial pancreas for people with T1D. It would be a wearable device that would integrate with an insulin pump. It would be a computerized program that would use blood glucose levels obtained through the artificial pancreas to calculate an insulin dosage to be dispensed through the insulin pump. It would also contain a mechanism known as a low-glucose suspend whereby low or sinking blood sugars would signal the pump to stop dispensing insulin until the wearer can treat the low blood sugar with food or glucose tabs.
Another project they are currently funding is the development of glucose-responsive insulin, or smart insulin. If successfully developed, this insulin would be taken just once a day, staying safely in the body until it is needed. It would work only in response to changing glucose levels throughout the day, ensuring the right amount of insulin is available to the body at all times.
We would appreciate your support for a chicken barbecue being held for the benefit of JDRF on June 2 at The Place. For $8, the meal will include a half chicken, macaroni salad, baked beans and a roll. There will also be a 50-50 raffle, a raffle for prizes including the American Girl Doll Caroline, a boys 20-inch freestyle bike and a John Morrow print. There will be a Chinese auction and silent auction for an autographed Jimmy Howard Detroit Redwings T-shirt and an autographed Ricky Carlisle basketball.
We would like to give special thanks to our sponsors, including The Place, NYSCOPBA, St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union, Algonquin Power, Pepsi-Cola Ogdensburg Bottlers, Jreck Subs and Grays Gun Shop.
Doug and Teresa Loffler
Lou and Ron Frederick