101 to Cure Type One: Chicago Diabetes Project challenges runners to log miles
Spring is in the air, and one of the few things everyone is allowed to do anywhere is exercise.
So, why not get out -- or stay in -- and log a few miles for a good cause?
The Chicago Diabetes Project's 101 to Cure Type One Challenge started May 1 and continues through June 14. All ages and abilities are welcome to run, walk or ride a stationary bike (every 3 miles biked = 1 mile ran/walked) for this 101-mile challenge.
Cost is $50 for adults or $20 for children younger than 12. To register, visit cdp101.org or chicagodiabetesproject.org. Runners also are encouraged to set up a fundraising page at GoFundMe.com to raise crucial funds for the CDP at charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/101fortype1.
Participants can log their miles through the website and share progress with other participants in a private Facebook Group.
Proceeds will benefit The Chicago Diabetes Project, which provides funding to a global collaboration of scientists, researchers, physicians and surgeons with one mission: to cure diabetes by transplanting insulin-producing islet cells into diabetic patients, which would reduce or eliminate the need for multiple insulin injections daily and provide better control of blood glucose levels.
The mission is to develop and perfect this procedure in the shortest time possible, without the need for immunosuppressive drugs. Eliminating these drugs will make the procedure more affordable, reduce side effects, and allow the procedure to serve a broader patient population.
For more information, visit chicagodiabetesproject.org.
According to The Chicago Diabetes Project, Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.
Different factors, including genetics and some viruses, may contribute to Type 1 diabetes. Despite active research, there is no cure. Treatment focuses on managing blood sugar levels with insulin, diet and lifestyle to prevent complications.
Signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes can appear suddenly and may include: increased thirst; frequent urination; bed-wetting in children who previously didn't wet the bed during the night; extreme hunger; unintended weight loss; irritability and other mood changes; fatigue and weakness; blurred vision.
We spoke with Jill Dine of River Forest, development coordinator with the Chicago Diabetes Project, about the fundraising event and how you can get involved.
Q: How does the Chicago Diabetes Project help people with the disease?
A: There have been great technological advances in the last several years that help many diabetics improve glycemic control. However, there is a subset of patients diagnosed with brittle T1D.
These worst case T1D patients no longer feel when their blood sugars drop to life-threatening low levels (hypoglycemic unawareness). An islet cell transplant can not only prevent patients with brittle T1D from going dangerously low, but in most cases will also allow them to live a life without insulin injections.
Furthermore, many "standard of care" technologies rely on patient compliance and can be a financial burden to the patients or caregivers. An islet transplant will provide the patient with more autonomy and reduce medical costs over their lifetime.
Q: What is your personal connection?
A: My son Clayton was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was just 2 years old. It was October of 2011, and at the time we were in the hospital no one mentioned a cure.
My husband began looking into a possible cure for T1D when he came across the Chicago Diabetes Project. Living in Chicago, we knew we had to reach out and find out what the CDP was all about.
A few months later we went to see Dr. Jose Oberholzer of UVAHealth in Charlottesville, Virginia, and some of his patients speak. When we heard his patients say that they were living free from insulin, we knew we were invested.
We have had a relationship with Dr. Oberholzer and the CDP ever since, and have watched his team make tremendous progress throughout the years. Dr. Oberholzer is even doing the challenge, and runs both Chicago and New York City marathons every year to raise money for the CDP.
My son is now 11 and a very active and healthy child. We know that Dr. Oberholzer will not stop until there is a cure.
Q: What is the Project 101 to Cure Type One Diabetes?
A: We came up with the 101 to cure type 1 to have people challenge themselves.
Why do 100 miles when we can do just a little bit more? Those living every day with Type 1 diabetes always have to do just a little bit more!
A person living with Type 1 diabetes is constantly making daily decisions that, to others, are insignificant. Type 1 diabetics always have to do a little more. They can't just eat food without counting their carbs and giving themselves insulin. They have to always have supplies on them in the event of a high or low blood sugar. They have to be prepared when exercising in the event their blood sugar drops.
Parents of children with type 1 have to check their child's blood sugar all night long while they sleep. Diabetics have to endure thousands of needle injections to keep them alive. Although Type 1 diabetes is not easy, neither is 101 miles, but we know you can do it.
Q: How does it work? Who can participate?
A: To participate, you will need to complete 101 miles between May 1 and June 14; 50 for kids. All ages and abilities are welcome. We encourage you to get your family and friends to join you in this event.
All runners/walkers will receive a "101 to cure type one challenge" T-shirt and a finisher's e-certificate. T-shirts and certificates will be mailed/emailed out the week of June 16.
Q: How can people sign up to participate?
A: To sign up, go to www.cdp101.org. Once you have registered, you will receive a link to a private Facebook group to post photos and cheer each other on.
Q: How can readers help if they can't participate in the challenge?
A: If you cannot participate in the challenge, you can donate at www.chicagodiabetesproject.org.
Q: What else would you like readers to know?
A: Funding is a major barrier to support this costly and complex research. These experiments are expensive. Grant funding is often slow and delayed. The CDP can provide timely seed grants to our investigators that can help bridge delays from larger funding agencies.
The CDP advances ongoing diabetes research through collaborations and grant funding. We facilitate communication and sharing of experimental results among collaborating teams.
We also add nimbleness to the research by providing funding for critical experiments that may not be covered by other grants.
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The Chicago Diabetes Project's 101 to Cure Type One Challenge
When: Through June 14
What: All ages and abilities are welcome to run, walk or ride a stationary bike for this 101-mile challenge
Cost: $50 for adults or $20 for children younger than 12.