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8-Year Old JDRF Ambassador, Kendall Tubbs: “Diabetes Stinks!!”

August 10, 2010

JDRF Ambassador, Kendall Tubbs, gave an outstanding speech at Bailey’s Prime Plus Steakhouse where Greater Dallas’ top corporations were invited to learn more about participating as a walk partner for the Walk to Cure Diabetes taking place on Saturday, September 25, 2010. Here are her words:

Diabetes Stinks!! I’m Kendall Tubbs, I’m 8 years old, and I have stunk for most of my life. Last Tuesday, marked my sixth year of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes means part of my body doesn’t work. My pancreas doesn’t produce insulin. Insulin helps turn food into energy. As a result, type 1 diabetics cannot eat without injecting insulin into their body.  I have had several thousand shots… and that stinks.

Since my pancreas doesn’t work, my blood sugar can go high or low. When my blood is low, I feel weak, sad, grumpy, and hungry and sometimes I lose coordination and fall down.  When my blood goes high, I feel confused, crazy, out of whack, and grumpy. Diabetes makes me grumpy a lot.

In order to check my blood sugar, I have to poke my finger with a needle to get a drop of blood. If anyone wants to have a small glimpse of life with diabetes, see me later and I will let you poke your finger once. Even though I am only 8 years old, I have poked my fingers with a needle nearly 20 thousand times… and that stinks!

When my blood sugar goes low, I need food, or juice to help raise my blood. Sometimes at school when my blood is low, I cannot go to recess with my friends. At other times, when my blood is high, I need insulin. When I’m high, I cannot eat at snack time with my class, or have dinner with my family… and that … stinks.

Last year, I was in the hospital two times due to complications from diabetes. Last year, while I was being treated for ketones – which is an acid in the body that can come from high blood sugar – I had a seizure, was unconscious for 12 hours, and took my first ambulance ride. I then spent three days in the hospital.

Later in the year, I spent another day in the hospital being treated for high blood sugar.  You know what I think about hospitals… that’s right, they stink!

Even though diabetes stinks, I am hopeful because organizations such as JDRF are making advancements towards living with and defeating the disease. I hope you join the winning side. Six years ago, when I was diagnosed, I had to take shots every time I ate.  Two years later, I was able to get an insulin pump which helps with my insulin delivery, and provides more freedom for eating. Then two years after that, I was able to get a continuous glucose monitor. The monitor shows me my blood sugar every 5 minutes.   The continuous glucose monitor gives me more information about my blood sugar and reduces the daily number of times I have to poke finger.

JDRF is working on some exciting new developments for the next few years. Who knows what will come after that? I am hoping and praying that it is a CURE!!! With the help and contributions from companies like you, we can make that happen. Won’t you please help JDRF spray a little perfume on a stinky disease called Diabetes. ”

It’s not too late to get your company involved in the JDRF 2010 Walk for the Cure Diabetes! For more information, please visit our website and contact Dolores Johnson at dsjohnson@jdrf.org or (214) 373-9808.

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