Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nationwide Luminary Lighting Event to Support Juvenile Diabetes!

What: Annual Juvenile Diabetes / Type 1 Luminary Lighting
T-1 Luminary Enlightenment
When: November 5, 2008.
Where: Luminaries displayed in front of your home, visible from the road. All roads in town will be lit with luminaries.
Why: Three years ago, Harrison was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This year he has one major goal: to build awareness for the millions of people with Type 1 / Juvenile Diabetes. With awareness comes compassion for ALL of our children.
How: Send an email to with your mailing address and the number of luminary packs you would like to purchase. We will send you a pack of 3 luminaries and 3 tea lights for $5.00. On November 5th, place the T-1 luminary outside your house visible from the road and keep it lit in honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month. In addition, hang the Type 1 fact sheet on your front door for everyone to read and become “enlightened.” This is an easy way to show your support from the comfort of your home. You don’t need to join a walk team… climb mountains… or write a big check.

Thank you in advance for helping light the way to a cure for Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes.
This is a nationwide event. Don’t be the only street in your town not lit with luminaries.

Proceeds will go to support research aimed at finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Please send checks payable to Harrison’s Heroes T-1 Luminary Enlightenment.
Mail to:
Harrison Heroes
P.O. Box 2813
Westport CT 06880

There are two very different types of diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is when your body no longer produces insulin because the immune system kills the cells in the body that produce insulin. Insulin is essentially the key that allows the glucose (sugar/energy) from your blood into your cells. Since people with type 1 diabetes can’t produce their own insulin, they must put insulin into the blood stream 24 hours a day through injections or an insulin pump (See attached picture of the sensor and insulin pump infusion needles that are injected under the skin in the stomach or lower hips and need to be changed ever 48 to 72 hours in children. Imagine how hard it is to get the average five year old to brush their teeth…now imagine the strength and courage needed, at any age, to administer these needles every few days). Without insulin your blood sugar will become very high resulting in seizures, coma or death. To properly determine how much insulin a child with type 1 diabetes needs, they test their blood every two hours, around the clock.

A child’s body is constantly growing and changing, therefore the amount of insulin a child requires can vary from day to day. There are many different factors involved to determine the amount of insulin needed and too much insulin in the body will result in low blood sugar levels resulting in seizures, coma or death. Unfortunately, determining the amount of insulin is not a science, but rather an art. Adrenaline, growth hormones and stress on the body can all affect blood sugar levels and the amount of insulin required. Someone with type 1 diabetes must calculate the amount of insulin for everything they eat. You will often see moms inconspicuously counting every goldfish cracker their child eats at a birthday party or trying to guess the carbohydrate/sugar content in an orange at a soccer game.

Normally, insulin in the body starts working the second a person looks at food. However, for someone with type 1 diabetes the insulin that is injected can take two to three hours to metabolize in the body, resulting in very unstable blood sugars throughout the day. High and low blood sugars affect how a person feels resulting in blurred vision, headaches, nausea, confusion, irritability and exhaustion.

Parents of children with type 1 diabetes are up all night testing blood sugar levels -- giving apple juice to prevent low blood sugars and administering insulin to prevent high blood sugars. There is no vacation from diabetes. Every 2 hours of every day—every meal, every sports activity, every play date, when they are healthy, when they have a cold, and even when they are sleeping—parents are making decisions to maintain tight control of the diabetes in their little ones.

It is a misconception that you can grow out of type 1 diabetes or that it can be controlled by diet and exercise like type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease -- it is not a result of obesity or a poor diet. While diabetes is sometimes genetic in most cases the cause is unknown. Unfortunately there is no cure for type 1 diabetes YET! Only with a national enlightenment will we be able to develop a cure for type 1 diabetes and other chronic diseases that affect children. There have been many amazing advances in care over the last five years and we are grateful for anything that will help the quality of the day to day life for our children. However, our children deserve more… they deserve a cure! Thank you for helping us light that way to a cure.

Nationwide Type 1 Diabetes
Luminary Enlightenment
November 5, 2008

Thank you again for your support and participation in the Type 1 Diabetes Luminary Lighting! If you can’t participate, please pass along the luminaries to a friend, neighbor or someone who can.

Directions for November 5th, 2008:

1. Fill luminary bag with 2 cups of sand or small rocks.

2. Place tea light inside the bag.

3. Place the bag outside your front door, visible from the street, and light the candle.

4. Keep candle lit in honor of the Type 1 Luminary Lighting event.

5. Hang the Type 1 Diabetes Fact Sheet on your front door for people to read and become “enlightened.”

6. On the night of the Luminary Lighting event, take a picture with your luminaries in front of your home/street and send to P.O. Box 2813 Westport, CT 06880 or email to

Hopefully the weather will be great on November 5th, if it is raining or too windy to light the luminaries then wait until the next best evening. November is Diabetes awareness month so we have the entire month to enlighten the Nation.
Keep your luminaries in your sock drawer for safe keeping until November 5th -or- keep a note in your sock drawer to remind yourself where you have them stored. (If we all keep the luminaries in the same place then we can remind each other where to find them on Nov. 5th and for years to come.)

Note: All luminary bags are flame resistant. However, be sure to be careful and do not leave the bags unattended.

These are 3 of the 4 attachements that Courtnie sent me. I have already posted on TuDiabetes about this and am now posting it here. Courtnie said to be sure that everyone knew you CAN make your own luminaries. This is about raising awareness for Type 1 during Diabetes Awareness month.
If you'd like these attachements, along with the order form, let me know through comments and leave me your e-mail address.
Thanks to all!!!!

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