Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Cash

I want to introduce you to my nephew Cash.  He is 4-years old, knows more about dinosaurs than any other person I have ever met and fancies himself Captain Hook.  In 2010, at the age of three, Cash was diagnosed with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes.  

Cash will have to spend the rest of his life having his fingers stuck with small needles in order to have his blood sugar checked multiple times every single day.  He will have to weigh and measure every single meal and snack to track the carbohydrates he consumes to make sure he gets the right amount of insulin.  Cash will spend the rest of his life wearing an insulin injecting pump, which has to have the infusion set changed every three days or more often if the tubing clogs or the small needle that has to remain present in his skin at all times becomes dislodged.  The simplest stomach bug will send him to the emergency room for IV fluids, which happened when I was visiting.  This disease effects every person in the family and is present every minute of the day.  There is no break from Type 1 Diabetes and there is NO CURE.

While Type 1 is a genetic disorder, Type 2 Diabetes is often referred to as a "Lifestyle Disease."  But the complications of both diseases are very similar and very scary.  Some of the main causes of Type 2 Diabetes include sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet consisting of processed, packaged sugar, salt and fat laden convenience, fast, comfort foods and sugary drinks.  Genes can play a role in Type 2 Diabetes but for the most part it is PREVENTABLE and REVERSIBLE through a diet of fresh, whole, unprocessed foods and regular exercise. 

If you are on a lifestyle path that is leading you toward Type 2 Diabetes please stop and think about Cash.  You may have a choice in whether you get Diabetes.  My smart and beautiful nephew did not.

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