For those of you that have been following me for any length of time, you know that I am pretty much all business on social media. From time to time I do love to show a little bit of my family, but when it comes to personal issues, I leave that home. However, today, I need to get personal about an issue that has changed our family.
One morning this past January, life changed in the Khalfayan household changed in a big way. My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This was something we always had a pulse on, as my husband was diagnosed with type 1 back in 2007.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it. Type 1 diabetes strikes both children and adults at any age. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications.
Living with T1D is a constant challenge, which is a 24 x 7 job. People with the disease must carefully balance insulin doses (either by injections multiple times a day or continuous infusion through a pump) with eating and other activities throughout the day and night. They must also measure their blood-glucose level by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. Despite this constant attention, people with T1D still run the risk of dangerous high or low blood-glucose levels, both of which can be life threatening. People with T1D overcome these challenges on a daily basis.
Mike, my husband, was diagnosed in 2007 while we were living in Boston, There was no known hereditary link to him, he was young and in shape, so you can imagine our surprise when we received the news. We educated ourselves about the disease, picked ourselves up and went on with our lives.
Fast forward 7 years later, we are home and happy to be living in the Ocean State. Life is crazy but good! One night, before bed, my daughter said she was really thirsty. Knowing that this is one of the symptoms of diabetes, I asked Mike to test her in the morning, like we always do when any of our kids are not feeling well. First thing, in the morning, Mike tested her blood sugar, and the reading was 315! We knew right away and called our pediatrician. The doctor confirmed what we initially thought and sent straight up to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where we would spend the next few days. So yet again, life as we knew it was changed for good. It is one thing when your husband gets diagnosed; it is a whole different ballgame when your child gets diagnosed. This time, I felt as if I was diagnosed.
Living with Type 1 diabetes is something my daughter is still getting used to, but she is a fighter and I am so very proud of her every day!
She is still very private about her disease. Knowing that she is still very private and not fully accepting this disease (who can blame her) my husband, Mike, thought it would be a good idea to show her that she is not alone with this fight. He found a great video of a brave 11 year old girl, named Anna, who shows everyone what it is like for her to live everyday of her life with this disease. The video is only 8 minutes, and will give you a first-hand look into Anna’s daily routine. Anna – you rock!
As you can imagine, since January, I live, breathe and sleep Type 1 diabetes. I have wanted to do something to help find a cure for this disease for quite some time. So, I have decided to hold a fund raiser and donate half of the proceeds from my fall mini sessions to the JDRF – formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I hope this will be the first of many fundraisers I can do for this cause.
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. To learn more about their organization – here is a link to their site. http://jdrf.org/
The Fall Mini Session Fundraiser will take place on October 18 from 10am to 5pm at the beautiful Farmers Daughter in South Kingstown RI. There will be 2 packages offered:
Package 1 – $250 – 15 minute session – comes with 5 digital images
Package 2 – $500 – 30 minute session – comes with 15 digital images.
I hope that you can come on out and support a great cause while getting your holiday portraits done at the same time! The digital files can be used for your holiday cards, holiday gifts and any way you see fit.
Please call me at 401-295-5903 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Thank you to The Farmers Daughter for letting us photograph on their beautiful property for the day.
I also want to thank all of my clients, friends and family for all of the support they have given us this past year. It means so much to me and my family to have all of these wonderful people our lives.
We are truly blessed!
Type 1 Diabetes Statistics
• As many as three million Americans may have T1D.
• Each year, more than 15,000 children and 15,000 adults—approximately 80 people per day— are diagnosed with T1D in the U.S.
• Approximately 85 percent of people living with T1D are adults, and 15 percent of people living with T1D are children.
• The prevalence of T1D in Americans under age 20 rose by 23 percent between 2001 and 2009.
• The rate of T1D incidence among children under age 14 is estimated to increase by three percent annually worldwide.
• T1D accounts for $14.9 billion in healthcare costs in the U.S. each year.
Warning Signs Warning signs of T1D may occur suddenly and can include:
• Extreme thirst
• Frequent urination
• Drowsiness or lethargy
• Increased appetite
• Sudden weight loss
• Sudden vision changes