Julie LaPlante’s job as the secretary for the Endocrinology Division at The University of Toledo Medical Center has helped her gain insight into Type 1 diabetes.
But it wasn’t until her adult son, Derek, was diagnosed with the disease that she truly understood its life-changing implications.In support of the research being done to find a cure for juvenile diabetes, LaPlante is organizing a UT Health team to walk in the JDRF One Walk Sunday, Sept. 20, at Ottawa Park in Toledo to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“It completely changed my son’s life when he was diagnosed,” LaPlante said. “He started with insulin injections three times per day and then began to use an insulin pump.”
LaPlante said her son started showing signs of diabetes with weight loss, frequent urination and lightheadedness. While the diagnosis gave him answers, he had to adopt a brand-new lifestyle.
“He has to be mindful of everything that he does, whether that is tracking the carbs in what he eats or remembering to remove the insulin pump before he swims.”
The Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at The University of Toledo is a silver sponsor for the walk. Dr. Juan Jaume, chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at UTMC, said JDRF is the leading charitable fundraiser and advocate for juvenile diabetes research and its complications. The disease impacts 1.25 million Americans.
“Insulin should not be considered a cure, so we need to keep researching to find a cure for this disease,” Jaume said. “While insulin helps a person stay alive, it does not prevent some of the disease complications that can include nerve damage, blindness and kidney failure.”
LaPlante said she hopes her son’s story encourages UT employees to make a donation or join the team.
“I would be ecstatic if 50 people signed up to be on the team,” LaPlante said. “My son is even coming home from Chicago to walk with me.”
To register for the team or to donate, go to http://utole.do/et.