JDRF International – Heartland Chapter, Lincoln

Will’s Story

Will's StoryMy name is Will Stidd. I am 14 years old and have had type 1 diabetes for four years. Diabetes is very hard to deal with. I’m in constant watch of my blood sugars. If my blood sugar is high, I can have complications down the road, and if my blood sugar is low, I have to take immediate action as I could go so low that I could die. JDRF has helped me so much with my diabetes. I am now on a pump and a continuous glucose monitor, which helps me control my diabetes. Please help me and many others with trying to find a cure; if there was a cure, I could live a normal life without the stress of diabetes, and my family could also lead a normal life.

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Justina’s Story

Justina's StoryJustina McConnell’s diabetes journey began more than 15 years ago. Her elevated blood sugars were first discovered when she was pregnant with her first child. Even just 15 short years ago, less was known about diabetes. She was misdiagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. After her pregnancy, she was ill for many, many years. It was at the very start of her second pregnancy that her new doctor discovered her blood sugars were still extremely elevated and knew immediately it wasn’t Gestational Diabetes. Her doctor put her on insulin, and for the first time in years, she finally felt what “healthy” truly was. With her two-week-old daughter in her arms, she was officially stamped with Type 1 Diabetes.

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Easton’s Story

JDRF_Easton Beekman_Lincoln

Hello. My name is Easton. I am 7-years-old and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 2-years-old.

I am so grateful for my family, Dr. Corley, Dr. Griesen, and the staff at my school for helping me manage my diabetes. It is not easy being the only kid in school with diabetes. I wear a pump that gives me insulin. I poke my fingers often— over 25,000 times so far. My mom says God blessed me with diabetes because I am special. Some days I don’t feel special.

I walk every year to help find a cure, so that someday I don’t have to get anymore pokes or be different. I would really appreciate your support by walking or donating to JDRF to help find a cure!

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Maddie’s Story

JDRF_Lincoln_Maddie ElbrachtMaddie was just 14-months-old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Her parents noticed she was very thirsty, crabby, and had to go to the bathroom a lot. After taking her to the doctor, they received the diagnosis. They had to test her blood sugar every 30 minutes and try to give her impossibly small amounts of insulin.

Her parents were still dealing with the challenge of taking care of a helpless infant with diabetes when their first JDRF walk came around. When they attended, her parents realized they weren’t alone, and many other families were going through the exact same thing as they were.

In kindergarten, Maddie got a pump, and now that she is a teenager, she is more independent. She gradually started managing her diabetes on her own: checking her blood sugar, counting her carbs, doing her own insulin pump site changes, and giving herself insulin. Having diabetes doesn’t stop her from doing what she loves to do, like playing sports. Once in a while, she will have to sit out because of low blood sugar, but after it comes back up, she can get right back into the game.

JDRF has done so much for Maddie’s family and others who have type 1 diabetes. Maddie’s family has been to the JDRF walk 12 times and has raised more than $20,000 to help fund research for a cure. Maddie is also a JDRF youth ambassador.

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Mason’s Story

JDRF_MasonMason was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October of 2007. His parents, who were familiar with the symptoms of diabetes, made a doctor’s appointment for him after he had been going to the bathroom three to four times a night. The minute the doctor came in, Michaela, Mason’s mom, knew the news was not positive because the doctor had tears in her eyes.

Mason was checked into the hospital immediately where he remained for three days, learning about how to live with diabetes. He received a JDRF backpack of information and a Rufus bear to help him learn about his insulin and blood sugar. “We had all of the tools we needed, thanks to JDRF, which was invaluable,” says Michaela. “We had to just learn to live with diabetes, we didn’t have a choice.”

With the support of JDRF and his doctor, Mason returned to being active and healthy. Today, he does taekwondo, football, track, and wrestling.

Mason’s family has a strong relationship with JDRF. As a family, they participate in JDRF events, and Mason also worked with JDRF on a school presentation on diabetes.

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Megan’s Story

JDRF_MeganThe Lincoln JDRF office brought me together with a support network of peers who go through the same things that I do every day to stay alive. This made growing up with diabetes a little less difficult because I was able to meet so many other kids who knew what I was feeling and understood things that no one else could. I have made lifelong friends through JDRF.

As a Youth Ambassador for JDRF, I was also able to go to Washington D.C. for Children’s Congress as the Nebraska Representative. This opportunity gave me the chance to see how JDRF works tirelessly for me and everyone else impacted by type 1 diabetes all around the world. It was amazing to see people with such high influence fight to make my everyday become as close to normal as possible. I also had the chance to tell our local senators why they should continue to support funding for research to find a cure for diabetes.

Many people just like me could say JDRF has been their backbone from the very beginning of this battle, I say they have been much more than that to me. I know each day countless numbers of people wake up and go to work to fight for a better life for me. That feeling is not something you can understand unless you experience it first hand and that’s why JDRF is the reason I have hope for a cure. Because of them I believe someday I won’t need to poke my finger anymore or wear an insulin pump.

– Megan

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