REECIE PIE - Tour de Cure
My daughter, Reece, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, at the age of 4. Like many other Type 1 families, we had no history of it. We noticed something was wrong when my daughter suddenly became excessively thirsty, drinking copious amounts of water. Nothing quenched her thirst. We googled Reece’s symptoms and the first thing that popped up was Type 1 Diabetes. Immediately, we called the pediatrician’s office and explained her symptoms. The office felt that she was just dehydrated. We breathed a sigh of relief and tried to believe nothing was wrong.
However, we did not recognize that her insulin producing cells were dying off and her little body was trying to self-regulate. She was heading toward diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. Without immediate medical treatment for DKA, the decreasing cell function leads to organ failure. At the time, we didn’t know any of this, and for the next two days, Reece’s excessive thirst continued. We had to face that something was wrong, so we took her to the pediatrician’s office and insisted they check her glucose, so we can have peace of mind. They did, and in an instant our lives changed irrevocably. Our pediatrician walked back into the room, hugged my wife and confirmed our baby had a life threatening autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes.
We were devastated. Reece was rushed to the endocrinologist, took her first shots of insulin that evening and went back to school the next day, happy as ever. What we didn’t know at the time was that each year children die of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed Type 1 diabetes. Most often, children aren’t properly diagnosed until they are already in DKA and their bodies are shutting down. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells. Prior to the discovery of insulin therapy, the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes was a death sentence. As her father, I can barely wrap my brain around this, and my family and I thank God every day because we live in an age where insulin is available to her, as this is her lifeline.
While it has significantly changed the regimen of Reece’s daily life, it has not slowed her down. She loves 1st Grade; she’s an avid swimmer, a gymnast, and bike riding fanatic. She wears two medical devices on her tiny body in order to help us manage this monster of a disease. Unfortunately, not every T1 parent has the means to provide their child with these lifesaving medical devices. Treatment and management of Type 1 has improved tremendously in the last few decades, and many research teams are working toward a cure and to help protect children from future diagnosis.
I registered to participate in the Tour de Cure and will be riding with my 9 year old son, Brody, who is extremely supportive of his little sister, my wife, and my amazing little Type 1 warrior, Reece. This diagnosis truly has impacted each member of our family, and we need to stay in front of it and help others along the way. We’re now raising money to find a cure and to improve the lives of all of those affected with better treatment and educating everyone on early symptoms. We are fighting for a cure, and we hope you will join us. Any donation or show of support is greatly appreciated!
I am forever grateful for all of those willing to help, and thank you for supporting me! If you’d like to donate, please click the following link, then click Donate to Me.
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