About 400,000 new cases of Type One Diabetes are diagnosed each year, increasing the effort to find a cure. Sunday, more than 1,000 people participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation One Walk around the Yale Bowl, to raise money and awareness.
Flanked by a dozen family and friends, the Vasquez family of Hamden walked for their seven-year-old daughter Cece.
“I want to support other kids who have diabetes,” said Cece.
Her parents said they didn’t know much about juvenile diabetes until Cece was diagnosed last year.
“It’s very rough. A lot of you stay up late nights worrying about your kids, because it’s a very deadly disease as we learn every day,” said her father Cesar.
Because their bodies stop producing insulin, patients are unable to get energy from the food they eat. Cece’s parents prick her finger 10 to 12 times a day to check her insulin levels.
“She handles it like a trooper. I don’t think I could be able to handle being pricked that many times every day, and she does great,” said Cece’s mother Aracelis.
Of the more than one million people living with type one, 200,000 are children, a number that experts say is growing at an alarming rate.
Type One Diabetes has nothing to do with diet or exercise. The cause is still unknown.
“It’s a 24/7 struggle. It’s a constant struggle. It’s really a dangerous burden that they live with every day that never takes a day off,” explained the executive director of the local JDRF chapter Jon Muskrat.
Last year, $68-million was raised for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, money they hope will one day turn type one into type none.
“It’s also really a community event where our families with type one can come together, gain support, and really feel a sense of empowerment,” Muskrat added.