One year ago today, my cousin's beautiful daughter, Kylynn, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
One year ago today, my cousin Shelly's beautiful daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Kylynn Kortesmaki is now a 15 year old sophomore at Mount Shasta High School. She gives herself four insulin injections a day and counts all her carbs. She went from a carefree young teenager to a girl who has to watch everything she puts in her mouth.
Despite this, you'll never hear Kylynn complain. She has accepted the challenge with strength and grace, and I'm so proud!
According to the National Diabetes Association, only five percent of the 25.8 million people with diabetes have the type 1 form. I know it can be frustrating for Kylynn when people assume that if she changed her lifestyle and ate "better," the she'd get better, too. Because it's completely untrue (and it's pretty obvious that Kylynn has always been a healthy person). Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease and it's exact cause is unknown. It's something she'll have to deal with every single day of her life – until a cure is found.
Today I made a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Kylynn's honor in hopes of just that. The organization focuses on research to cure type 1 diabetes and improve the lives of those affected by the disease. It's not much... but maybe it will help a little.
Kylynn is an amazing young woman. She's friendly, always smiling, and makes an effort to be kind to everyone. She is brave, sweet, and I hope Violet (who looks up to her immensely) will take after her as she gets older.
And Shelly, I have always looked up to you. From the time I was little and carried around your prom picture (the one in which you are wearing that super awesome white satin dress with the lace) in my plastic My Little Pony wallet, I've wanted to be just like you. You are an amazing mom and you're doing a wonderful job. :)