“We worked with Loni to create an inflatable arch with our JDRF logo for our Long Island Walks to Cure Diabetes in New York, and we couldn’t be happier! The arch is beautiful, our logo is perfectly printed, and the assembly is so simple. Our walk families and sponsors are still raving about it! What an amazing way to identify our walk start line and organization. Loni and Boulder Blimp are great to work with and create amazing products. We are looking forward to partnering with on many future investments!”
Karena Ancona – JDRF – Long Island Chapter, Melville, NY
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the world and an estimated 23.1 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes. Sorry to shock you within the first sentence of a Breath of Fresh Air post; I felt the same when I read those startling statistics myself. Who needs coffee now? I’m not a total Debby Downer though. I do have some good news I want to share! Now, let’s take a moment to share a collective sigh of relief as I introduce you to this month’s spotlighted non-profit: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation a.k.a. JDRF. Don’t be fooled by the name. According to their website, JDRF has led the search for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes [T1D] since their founding in 1970. In those days, people commonly called the disease “juvenile diabetes” because it was frequently diagnosed in, and strongly associated with, young children. In fact, nearly 85 percent of people living with the disease are over age 18.
Before I go any further, I need to clear something up so we’re on the same page. Because of my minimal understanding of diabetes, I thought T1D and Type 2 Diabetes [T2D] were essentially the same disease except that one had an early onset and the other developed in adulthood. Did you know T1D is actually classified as an autoimmune disease? Yeah, me either. In T1D, the beta cells that create insulin in our organic insulin pump – the pancreas – are mistaken for harmful cells essentially causing our bodies to call on the cavalry – the immune system – to vanquish them, rendering that whole integral system useless. It seems to have a genetic component in which case it may be detected early in life but not necessarily. Unfortunately, there is no cause or cure at this time. People with T1D are dependent on injected or pumped insulin to survive. Living with T1D is an extreme balancing act which requires 24/7 monitoring and strict scrutiny. Even if a person with T1D is incredibly vigilant, there is still potential for life threatening outcomes like kidney failure, stroke and amputation, just to name a few. In other words, there’s no rest for the afflicted.
In T2D, although I was right about it being diagnosed later in life, it may be due to a genetic predisposition. It’s classified as a metabolic disease in which the body is producing insulin but just isn’t using it effectively. T2D can be curbed by diet and exercise however there are some cases that require insulin therapy. Lesson here is: even though they share the same name, they are completely different diseases. Well, what do you know? You learn something new every day!
I bet your wondering when the good news is coming in. Alright, alright…hold your horses. The good news is JDRF is on a mission, and has been for a really long time, to eradicate T1D and find a cure. They have even have adopted a pledge of “less until none”: to progressively remove the impact of T1D from the lives of those living with the disease until it is no longer a threat to them or their families. It’s a tall order but since their founding they have raised a massively impressive $5 billion dollars that has been allocated to fund their research and support the T1D community. Yup, you read that right – BILLION. That’s a lot of zeroes.
The JDRF site is more that just a website. I would call it a comprehensive virtual guidebook to navigate T1D from prevention to even providing pointers for choosing the right insurance for your needs. The staff and volunteers at JDRF really have dotted every i and crossed every t when it comes to T1D. Honestly, I can’t even begin to summarize because the scope of their work is so vast. If you spend a little time on their page, you quickly get a sense that it is a family affair. They have done a great job to ensure that people affected by T1D, whether it be the individual or a family member or friend, understand that they are not alone. JDRF is the larger than life cheerleader anyone would love to have in their corner. Boulder Blimp takes great pride in assisting them achieve their goals through the use of our inflatables and event marketing products for their fundraising efforts. With that said, please take a moment to stop by their home on the web here and see how JDRF may be able to support you or your loved ones. Given the statistics, I have a feeling you may know someone who will benefit from their exhaustive efforts. Take advantage! I’m sure they won’t mind. 😉
Well, that’s a wrap, folks! Stay tuned for the next installment of Breath of Fresh Air coming up next month. I wonder who the spotlight will turn to next! Will it be YOU?