Okay, I do know that I told you I probably wouldn’t do a follow up/reminder column on our annual fundraising drive to support the American Diabetes Association, but I should have known better. The truth of the matter is that over the years we’ve been doing this campaign, the second column gets more response than the first.
As usual, we need this column to open hearts and wallets, yet again, if we are going to even get close to raising Team TKO’s goal of $2,500 to help fight this horrible disease and ultimately find a cure for diabetes.
Every single day, more than 4,000 Americans will be told that they have diabetes. More than 250,000 Americans will have diabetes listed as the cause of death this year. More than 32 million Americans have diabetes. More than 25 percent of Americans over 65 have diabetes or will soon find out they have it. Simply put, it’s a disease that must be fought. I’m one of those people who believe in going big or go home!
Our 10 years old in June grandson, Tyler Kane Ochs, has to wear an insulin pump, and he has to monitor every bite of food or drink, other than water, that he ingests.
Tyler can and does count every carbohydrate that goes into his mouth and does up to half a dozen blood tests every day. The insulin pump is strapped to his lower abdomen and attached to a needle injected into his belly and he has to wear it almost 24/7. He is allowed to take it out when he’s involved in an athletic event as long as somebody is close by with a glucometer and an insulin syringe. The needle location has to be changed every three days.
While he has not yet mastered the science of changing the needle by himself, he has been doing his own blood tests and carbohydrate counts since he was age three. Tyler was already a math whiz two years before he started kindergarten
The pump is far less painful than having three to five insulin shots every day and the dosage regulation is also much more precise. But the thing that most amazes me is that TKO does not allow the contraption or the disease to slow him down or prevent him from doing anything he wants to do.
Diabetes is the seventhmost listed on death certifi- cates, cause of death in our country. However, it is most likely the root cause of a host of other killers such as heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, liver disease, blood poisoning and hemorrhages, to name a few, that are listed as the cause of death without mentioning diabetes.
For example, even though neither of them has done me in so far, I have had two strokes that the doctors tell me were probably related to my diabetes. The jury is still out on whether my intimate association with Mr. Parkinson was brought on by erratic blood sugar imbalances. The point is that if either of them had proven to be fatal, my diabetes would not have been listed as a cause of death even though it would, most likely, have been the root cause.
Thanks to diabetes, I underwent four eye surgeries in 2015, two in 2017 and I am already in need of another round. Diabetes is one of, if not the most absolute, leading causes of blindness and is, by far, the leading cause of lower extremity amputations among adults. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
The truth of the matter is that, other than visual impairment, I am not much bothered with the disease on a daily basis as long as I take a 750mg Metformin pill, orally, twice a day, try to eat responsibly and get as much exercise as possible. Metformin as well as Tyler’s insulin pump are only two of the dozens of improved diabetes treatment results of ADA sponsored research.
If you would like to help sponsor us this year, the easiest way is to go online to tour.diabetes.org and click on “donate” at the top of the page, then click on donate to a participant, type in Ike Adams. I will try to update our progress page on the website on a daily basis should you want to check in to see how well (or not) we’re doing. At this writing 20 readers have donated $960. Every single penny I raise will go toward the fight.
If you would rather make a paper contribution, simply mail a check made payable to American Diabetes Association, with Team TKO on the memo line. Send it to my home address and Tyler and I will turn it in on Tour de Cure Day. Ike Adams, 249 Charlie Brown Road, Paint Lick, KY 40461.