LEWISTOWN - When 8-year-old Caleb Mock sits down for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack, the meal has already been planned in advance, complete with precisely measured amounts of carbohydrates and sugars as well as insulin necessary to handle the glucose in his blood.
The routine began when Caleb was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 4 years old, said Laura Mock, Caleb's mom. He also wears an insulin pump every day and has his blood checked eight times a day, including as late as midnight and as early as 3 a.m., she said.
"When Caleb was diagnosed, it completely changed our lives," Mock, of Reedsville, said. "This isn't the type of diabetes you get because you're eating the wrong things. It's just bad genetic and cosmic luck that you end up with it."
According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone needed to absorb energy from food. There's no way to prevent T1D, there's no cure
and it causes lifelong dependence on insulin with a constant threat of complications.
The foundation is one of the largest financial supporters of T1D research in the world, having awarded more than $1.7 billion to diabetes research since its founding in 1970, the JDRF website states.
The money raised through community events, such as the upcoming State College Diabetes Walk and JDRF Type 1 5K, goes toward research grants, clinical trials and global T1D community efforts to raise awareness and drive advocacy.
"Thanks to the JDRF and advances in technology, a lot of children are learning to live successfully with T1D and are making it to adulthood," Mock said. "The State College walk and 5K is the organization's largest fundraiser. It's a great way to get involved and support the children in your communities."
The Central Pennsylvania Chapter of JDRF is holding the State College Diabetes Walk and JDRF Type 1 5K on May 11 at Medlar Field in Lubrano Park. The organization is hoping to raise $45,000 from the two events.
"The JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes brings people together in a healthy activity for a worthy goal," said Lauren McPherson, development coordinator at Central PA JDRF. "It provides hope, empowerment and a sense of community. Your participation shows your commitment to the large scale movement to conquer type 1 diabetes one step at a time."
The fundraising efforts that individuals and teams put into the event support JDRF funded research that will help those living with the disease look forward to longer, healthier lives, McPherson said.
According to the event website, the 17 teams registered thus far for the walk have raised $7,555, or 15 percent of the goal. There's no final registration deadline, so people and teams can continue to register and donate money until the start of the event, Mock, also a member of the walk and 5K planning committee, said.
Registration for the State College Diabetes Walk is free and available online at www.jdrf.org under the Get Involved tab and Walk to Cure Diabetes option. Individuals or teams are welcome. Registration for the 5K costs $25 per person and is available online at www.active.com when searching JDRF.