JDRF One Walk Supports Those With Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease
FARGO, N.D. — The JDRF One Walk supports those with type 1 diabetes. The goal is turn Type One to Type None.
Three JDRF ambassadors led the walk, and the youngest is 7-year-old Samuel Erdmann.
He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over a year ago, and it’s been quite the journey for him and his family.
“We had a lot to learn, it was very overwhelming, we all cried, shed some tears, that lasted a long time,” Lindsay Erdmann, Samuel’s mom, said.
Organizers of the walk say something people often aren’t aware of is type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease.
“It’s not diet and lifestyle that causes it. So it’s nothing that they did,” Tammy Beintema, development director for JDRF, said.
For those with type 1, the immune system attacks the pancreas and kills the beta cells that make insulin.
“Once you think you’ve adjusted to it, it throws you a curveball and things change, and numbers change, and dosages change, and it gets a little bit better everyday, but everyday is also a challenge,” Erdmann said.
As much of a challenge as it is, the support of the community is a huge help.
“[JDRF] helps people like me with diabetes,” Samuel said.
The kids who were most recently diagnosed were recognized with the those who’ve been living with the diagnosis for the longest.
“Someone with type 1 diabetes can live a normal life, they can be active and play sports, and do all those things just like everyone else,” Beintema said.
As for advice for other families?
“Just know that you can do it, you can get through it, there are days I thought to myself, ‘I can’t do this anymore, I need a break, I can’t do it, it won’t get better, this is terrible,’ but somehow we wake up everyday and we do it again and again and again,” Erdmann said.
KVRR is a proud sponsor of the walk. TJ Nelson and Alison Voorhees were there to emcee the event.
About 900 people were in attendance. The walk is also a fundraiser to raise money for research to hopefully find a cure.