I headed over the pass last weekend to Tacoma, to walk with a former student and his family and friends in the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund) walk. That's Sahil in the dark jacket and blue pack walking with his friend Trent. He sure has grown since I first knew him as a first grader.
Sahil was diagnosed with diabetes when he was five years old. That's a lot for a little guy to handle, but he handles it well. He didn't much like having his finger pricked back in those days. Now he has an insulin pump, but he still has to check his sugar level several times a day. He doesn't let diabetes keep him from life. Always an eager learner, Sahil does great in school and he runs track--every event possible, apparently.
Events like these bring awareness to the community. They bring together those particularly concerned and give kids like Sahil a chance to realize they are not alone with the disease. They also give a chance to learn more and see what is new in research. One booth had information about service dogs trained to recognize when a diabetic's sugar levels are reaching a dangerous low, and alert him so that he can take action to adjust it. Exciting, isn't it!
The Sahil Sonics, organized by Sahil's Aunt Nabila, raised over $1000. (It doesn't all register on the page yet.) I was proud that they let me be a part of their team.