by Cori Hilsgen
The second annual Juvenile Diabetic Research Foundation event will take place from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Bad Habit Brewery in downtown St. Joseph.
St. Joseph City Council member Matt Killam will host the event, which is sponsored by the Bad Habit Brewing Co., Sliced, Scherer Trucking and the St. Joseph Lions Club.
The event will include a 4:30 p.m. meat raffle with products from the St. Joseph Meat Market. Pizza from Sliced will be served starting at 5 p.m, and a silent auction will also take place.
Last year’s event raised $1,200. The funds raised go toward cure and treatment research, outreach resources and awareness for juvenile diabetes.
“This event is very important to me,” Killam said. “I have been a diabetic for 24 years and understand how hard it can be for a child with diabetes.”
He said it has been a long road of being diabetic, but several advancements, including an insulin pump, have helped control his disease.
“I think one of the hardest things of being diabetic is having good control,” Killam said. “There are several factors that can change your blood sugar and it’s hard at times to keep good control. It’s also hard at times when people with limited knowledge of the disease make incorrect statements or claims to you about what you are eating or what magical item you can take to cure the disease.”
According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, diabetes is described as a disease in which the body has trouble regulating its blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Two major types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is not able to use it effectively.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes both children and adults suddenly. It has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent it. And, at present, there is no cure.
In Type 1 diabetes, a process our bodies do naturally and automatically now requires daily attention and manual intervention. With Type 1 diabetes, a person must constantly monitor his or her blood-sugar level, inject or infuse insulin through a pump and carefully balance these insulin doses with proper eating and activity throughout the day and night.
Insulin is not a cure for diabetes. Even with closely watched disease management, much of the diabetic’s day can be spent with either high or low blood-sugar levels. These fluctuations put people with Type 1 diabetes at risk for life-threatening hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic episodes, as well as long-term complications such as kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, blindness and amputation.
Some warning signs of Type 1 diabetes include drowsiness or lethargy, extreme thirst, frequent urination, fruity odor on the breath, increased appetite, heavy or labored breathing, sudden weight loss, sudden vision changes, sugar in the urine and stupor or unconsciousness.
An equal number of children and adults are diagnosed every day with type 1 diabetes – about 110 people per day. Almost 85 percent of people living with the disease are over age 18.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Diabetes Statistics Report, 30.3 million people have diabetes and 84.1 million adults aged 18 years or older, and 23.1 million adults aged 65 or older have pre-diabetes.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is a leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes research. The foundation’s mission is to discover, develop and deliver advances that cure, better treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.
For additional information, visit the jdrf.org website.
Author: Cori Hilsgen
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people’s stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.