Each month, one member of our team is asked to select an organization they’re passionate about to be an ADKcares recipient. This month’s charity was chosen by systems engineer, Ethan Baker.
Why did you choose the Juveline Diabetes Research Foundation to be this month’s ADKcares recipient?
My charity of choice is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). They are the leader in funding type 1 diabetes research. Type 1 diabetes is a disease that affects many young people throughout the world, and no cure has been found. Type 1 diabetes is a disease where a person’s immune system sends an immune response attacking the cells responsible for the production of insulin. This is a genetic predisposition that someone is born with, and it will surface at any point in a person’s life while they are relatively young. Insulin is a hormone that every person needs to survive. It’s responsible for turning simple sugars into the chemical structure required for the human body to use it as energy. Monitoring an individual’s blood glucose levels is something that is very difficult and it normally take decades to get used to.
People that are affected by this disease have no breaks, and they have to accept that it is a part of life. The only option is to overcome it, and to stay vigilant. People that are affected by this disease also learn how to enjoy certain aspects of life that others take for granted. As a type 1 diabetic, I have learned to appreciate the lessons I have learned from experiencing the disease, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t have type 1. If one day I could be lifted of this constant task of managing, I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity, but I will still always have the strength and appreciation for life that I have learned from the struggles; however, not everyone has had the same experience as me, and type 1 takes a very heavy toll on their lives. When diagnosed, you’ll become one of two types of people; stronger, hardworking, and more thriving, or the second option which is much worse, this likely being the opposite. Many people crumble from the rigors, and eventually lose their lives very early. Everyone deserves the chance for a normal life, and I hope that people will see the value in this charity, and choose to donate!