2007-10-04 / Letters

Dawkins and son are 'Walking for a Cure'

Dear Family and Friends,

TREY JAMES TREY JAMES It has been nearly 18 years ago since I, Leona, was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. My son, Trey, was diagnosed a year ago at the age of 11. Many of you who know my son and me may have never known that we suffer from this disease that TRIES to dictate our lives. Our daily routine is regimented with two insulin shots, at least four blood sugar tests, a low carbohydrate diet, and plenty of exercise. Since being diagnosed in 1988, I have given at least 10,000 shots.

Yet, we have never let diabetes get in the way of living our lives. I, Leona, am a three times a week dialysis patient. My kidneys failed due to complications to diabetes two years ago. I work full time at Wills Memorial Hospital and am very active at the schools and church. Trey is a student at Washington-Wilkes Middle School. He is in the seventh grade. He is very active in sports. He plays football with the Wilkes County Parks and Recreation Department. We have a lot of support from our family and friends. We know we are not alone fighting with this disease.

For those of you who are not familiar with diabetes, it is a disease that shuts down the natural pancreas driven produc t ion on insulin, a hormone necessary to regulate blood sugar levels. It is not caused by obesity or by eating excess sugar. In fact, the causes are not entirely known. Insulin injections provide life support for a diabetic, but they do not prevent the insidious complication from diabetes such as kidney disease, heart failure, blindness, and amputation. For this reason, we hope, pray, work and WALK for a cure.

Please join my family on October 20, 2007, at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes in Atlanta. If you can't join us please give a donation for our team, "Walking for a Cure." For over 18 years, I have hoped for a cure for diabetes. We realize that diabetes research is at a crucial juncture and we must take an active role in this fight.

While research has come a long way since I was first diagnosed, I cannot imagine how wonderful my life would be without diabetes. On behalf of my son and me, we are asking you to please make a personal contribution to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. And if you can join on our walk, we would be honored!

Leona D. Dawki ns

and son Trey James

P.S. Please makes checks payable to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Found.) and mail to 902 LaPrade St., Washington, GA 30673

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