I'm here to ask you a personal favor, Dear Reader.
Please Donate to Team Hanselman and help us reach our Goal of raising $50,000 to Fight Diabetes...
...during this year's Step Out to Fight Diabetes by the American Diabetes Association.
This is a technical blog, but I'm not just a technical person full of source code and pomposity.
Two months before my 21st birthday I started peeing a lot. A LOT. Like I was drinking four 2-liter bottles of Sprite a day and was still thirsty beyond belief. We'd just had a family photo taken and I was 130lbs on a 5'11" frame (for those of you outside the US, that's thin.) I was wasting away and looked like death. My father, a Portland Firefighter and Paramedic for thirty years smelled the sugar on my breath and sent me right away to the hospital where my blood glucose level was higher than the meter could read...and it's supposed to be under 100mg/dl.
I spent that spring learning how to give myself shots, four a day, along with a regiment of pills. Twelve years later I have no side effects, knock on wood. Not everyone is that lucky. I recently went to a funeral of a high-school friend who was the exact same age and succumbed to Type 1 Diabetes.
I currently take three shots a day of Symlin while also wearing an Insulin Pump 24-hours a day, even while I sleep. The pump saves me from an additional six shots a day, which I took for 8 years before the pump. I test my blood sugar by pricking my finger between 8 and 10 times a day - that's about 46,500 finger pricks so far, and miles to go before I sleep.
I consider myself lucky though. My 91-year old grandmother's neighbor friend in the 1920's, before Insulin was widely used (it was discovered in 1921) ate nothing but lettuce and eventually died in childhood. I have friends who have been diabetic for nearly 50 years and had to boil large-gauge needles on the stove before injecting themselves with Pork-derived insulin, basing their decisions on a once-a-day urine check to check their blood glucose level.
Diabetes is endemic. Here's some stats from the NIH:
- Total: 20.8 million people—7 percent of the population—have diabetes.
- Diagnosed: 14.6 million people
- Un-diagnosed: 6.2 million people
- 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older in 2005.
- Diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death listed on U.S. death certificates in 2002.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20 to 74 years.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44 percent of new cases in 2002.
- About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.
I tell you this not to scare you, or ask for pity. I tell you this because it's the painful truth. It sucks, and it sucks big time. I am constantly and consistently afraid that my son will face this disease in his lifetime. God help the children who get Type 1 diabetes. I was hardly prepared at 21, I can just now begin to imagine what a parent of a 2 or 3 year old would go through after a diagnosis like that. I'm even afraid to say it out loud, it's that unspeakable.
If you aren't familiar with Diabetes, perhaps my explanation on how Diabetes works using an analogy of an Airplane and the above statistics will help you understand how personally painful this disease is.
This year Team Hanselman, led by myself and my wife, Mo, who had this whole idea, will be walking to fight diabetes on Oct 20h, 2007. We have set a goal of raising US$50,000. Crazy, huh?
If only 2500 of you, dear readers, gave US$20 to this cause, we've met our Team Goal. If only 1000 give US$50, well, you get the idea. If you can't donate, that's OK. Post about this on your blog, spread the URL http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes or put some of our Diabetes "Flair" on your site!
Last year this time, there were over 5000 people subscribing to this blog (for the technical content, I assume) - this year there are over 14,000.
A Personal Favor to Me
Perhaps you've Googled and found my blog useful in the past or you've seen me speak at a conference or local user's group. Or, you've hung out here for years (this blog started in April 2002!). Maybe you're a blogger yourself and use DasBlog. Perhaps you've visited my Blog Archives and found them useful, or you read the ASP.NET 2.0 book.
If you've ever thought about giving a 'tip' to this blog, here's your chance to make that tip tax-deductible! (if you're in the US) You can also paypal your donation to the email address that is "my first name at my last name .com" and I will personally deliver 100% of your money myself.
Donations are Tax-Deductible and go directly to the ADA. If you like, you can PayPal me and I'll deliver the money myself.
Team Hanselman Diabetes "Blog Flair" and Badges
Please feel free to spread this flair or post them on your blog, and link them to this easy to remember link: http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes. It'll bring folks right here to this site.
If you want to create a better flair, like the one that Jon Galloway created, send it to me, or put a link in the comments and I'll add it to this page for others to use!
LINKING NOTE: http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes brings you here, and http://www.hanselman.com/fightdiabetes/donate takes you straight to the donation site.
Thanks for your patient attention, we now return you to our regular blogging schedule.