Walk Talk Team Spotlight: Texas Instruments
The last thing in the world that TI’s two Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) youth ambassadors want is for people to feel sorry for them.
Melina (12) a 7th grader at Community Middle School in Nevada, TX who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2009, and Jasmine (15) a sophomore at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just 2 years old, have lived with Type 1 diabetes for years and manage quite well, thank you.
That’s not to say they don’t realize that it’s a life-threatening disease or that they wouldn’t absolutely love for a cure to be found.
Just think of it: No more counting carbohydrates before every meal. No more painful insulin pumps or needle sticks. No more worries that mistakenly taking the wrong dose of insulin could result in a 911 call or have fatal consequences.
“If and when they find a cure, I’ll be over the moon with happiness,” said Jasmine. “But even if I could, I wouldn’t change having had diabetes. It’s made me who I am.”
People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy required for daily life.
Most children with type 1 diabetes live a healthy lifestyle because they must monitor their food and exercise in addition to giving themselves insulin to better control their blood sugar, said Jasmine’s mom, Anoma.
“Because these children look so healthy, people don’t realize that this is a life-threatening disease requiring a day to day strict and painful regimen, as well as some of the devastating long-term effects, such as kidney failure, nerve damage, blindness and heart disease that could occur,” she said.
The girls’ role as TI JDRF Ambassadors is to share their stories about life with diabetes and help TIers become more aware of the purpose behind the annual JDRF fundraising campaign.
This year’s campaign is September 7-24, and in addition to the Walk to Cure Diabetes, their fundraising activities include a used media collection drive, a used media sale, bake sales, a fundraising lunch, a Hispanic/Latino Cultural Fair and the JDRF eAuction which will be held September 20-27, 2011 at the JDRF eAuction website.
Find out more about the JDRF eAuction and how your Walk Team can receive fundraising credit. (link to blog post)
Both Jasmine and Melina said they hope their daily efforts to overcome the challenges of juvenile diabetes will inspire TIers to donate to JDRF, which is the leading funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes science. “I just hope by me telling my story and helping out that people will get a better understanding of why they need to donate and walk,” Melina said.
JDRF is committed to developing new and better treatments that improve the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes in the near term and keep them healthy as it fights to find a cure. Nearly 4 million children in the U.S. alone have juvenile diabetes.
“Research sponsored by the JDRF has already significantly enhanced the quality of life for Jasmine, Melina and others in the U.S. and around the world,” Anoma said.
The girls said they are optimistic about the research JDRF is funding and believes scientists are getting close to a cure.
“If I think about how far research has come since I was diagnosed, it’s going really fast,” she said. “I have a lot of hope.”
This article was written by Sara Campbell and distributed at Texas Instruments.
Thank you to Texas Instruments for their support as the 2011 Victory Walk Site Sponsor and their volunteers who contribute their time, dollars and efforts to the Walk to Cure Diabetes by fundraising, volunteering and participating on our Logistics Committee!
2011 Walk to Cure Diabetes
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011
Check-In Time: 7:30am
Walk Start Time: 9:00am
Get more tips and answers to your questions by reading the Walk Talks or Walk Resources section on the JDRF Dallas Walk Website.
Haven’t registered yet? Click on your preferred location below to get started!
Victory Park at American Airlines Center in Dallas
To learn more about the JDRF Dallas chapter, visit our JDRF Dallas website!