Sunday, June 21, 2009

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

I received this letter in the mail yesterday and it really struck a cord with me. I always donate to JDRF, always. That isn't the reason it hit me. I was 17 years old when I first heard the devasting news. I felt very much the same as the author of this letter. Please help us find a cure.



120 Wall Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10005

“Does this mean I’m going to die?”

Dear Friend,

You wouldn't know it to look at me. I look like any other teenager. I go to school, talk on the phone and do the "normal" things that other l7-year-olds do. But appearances can be deceiving. I have a disease called juvenile (type I) diabetes -and it's the reason I'm writing to you today.

I was nine years old when my life changed forever -the day my doctor diagnosed me with diabetes. I asked him if I was going to die. He told me I wouldn't. But the fact is, diabetes killed life as I knew it. It will shorten my life expectancy by 7 to 10 years. I can never take a break from it. It affects every organ in my body and forces me to take up to six insulin shots a day just to stay alive. It requires careful attention and vigilance.

But some days, diabetes just makes me want to cry...

I want my life back. I want diabetes to go away forever. You see, I know there's a cure for type I diabetes out there, somewhere. It just hasn't been found yet. So, I'm asking for your support. Please help Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation find a cure for diabetes.

We've included some personalized address labels with my letter today. I hope' you like them and use them; and when you do, remember my story -and remember the thousands of other kids like me who are living with diabetes every day. And most of all, I hope you'll send a gift today if you possibly can.

Every 30 seconds, another child is diagnosed with diabetes. When you're a little kid, it's a very difficult disease to understand. Even now, after "living" with diabetes for eight years, I still struggle. Sometimes I still ask, "Why me?"

Deep down, I know diabetes can happen to anyone. It strikes innocent kids and their families. From that moment on, your life is different. You need insulin shots every day just to survive. And, even if you learn to "manage" your daily life, diabetes can cause all kinds of medical complications.

As kids like me grow up, we're at a much higher risk for blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage and amputations.

Finding a cure for diabetics is so important. I know you might think I'm just saying this because I have the disease myself. But it's not only about mc. I'm asking for your help on behalf of thousands and thousands of children living with diabetes -maybe even children you know.

Today - right now - as I write you this letter, a child is being given a life sentence: a diabetes diagnosis. Please help JDRF find a cure. I know we can do it -with your help!

Every day research projects are moving closer to finding a cure. And that's what JDRF is all about -funding the best and most important research for a cure.

That's why I hope you'll send your contribution today in the enclosed envelope. You'll have the deep, personal satisfaction of helping JDRF fight to give childhood back to children with diabetes.

Please don't wait. I'm fighting diabetes for my life -and I don't plan on giving up until we find a cure!

Thank you in advance for your caring and generosity.



Age 17

JDRF Volunteer

To protect the privacy of the person involved, we have changed the name within this story.

PS: Please search your heart. For the sake of kids like me -waiting and hoping to be freed from a life sentence of diabetes. Please send a generous tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

PPS: You can rest assured that every gift you send to JDRF will be used wisely. The American Institute of Philanthropy consistently awards JDRF an "A" rating because more than 85 cents of every dollar spent is used for research and education. Smart Money magazine named JDRF one of their top 10 "Charities You Can Trust."

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