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This is Jaclyn, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on the very day of her 8th birthday, December 30, 2003. Her blood glucose was 643. She was on her way to a coma, and we almost didn't see it coming. Since that day, she has done over 16,772 fingersticks.

Every bite of food has to be weighed/measured to know the amount of carbohydrates she eats. Insulin is given based on those amounts. But even then, it is not an exact science. The type of food eaten, exercise, stress, and even having a cold all affect blood sugar levels.

When Jaclyn was diagnosed, she was the kind of girl who practically needed sedation to cut off a hangnail. I wondered how we were ever going to be able to stick her fingers with needles, much less, give her shots 3 or more times a day. But she surprised us, as kids often do, and adapted amazingly.

The first year was totally overwhelming. Life was on a strict schedule. Every meal and snack at the same time every day, and no sleeping in. We did shots for about a year. I had to teach my husband how to give Jaclyn a shot. I remember the first time he gave her one . Afterwards, he broke down and cried. It hurts so much to have to stick your little girl with needles to keep her alive.

After that first year, Jaclyn went on an insulin pump. What a welcome change to our lives. No more strict schedule - she can eat when she wants, and even sleep in. A big improvement, but not a cure.

Today, she is a pretty and smart 8th grader, and is on the swim team at school. She has made straight A's since first grade. She loves animals, and country music. We do our best to help her lead a normal life. I know that she won't let diabetes hold her back in any way. But she hates having the "d" word. She hates being different from all of her friends.


Hope for a cure only came for us when we found out about Dr Faustman's research. Islet cells can regenerate. No transplants. No anti-rejection drugs. THIS is the cure we want for Jaclyn.

Deanne & Gerry