By Bob Vail, JDRF Illinois
Type1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that strikes both children and adults suddenly, and has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. With T1D, the pancreas stops producing insulin — a hormone the body needs to get energy from food. This means a process that the body does naturally and automatically now becomes something that requires daily attention and manual intervention. Those with T1D must constantly monitor their blood-sugar levels, inject or infuse insulin through a syringe or pump, and carefully balance these insulin doses with their eating and activity throughout the day and night.
To help people better manage life with type 1 Diabetes, an event began 11 years ago as a simple day at an amusement park, and it has grown into TypeOneNation — a free, annual summit that welcomes more than 850 people to a day of inspirational and educational activities led by national and local experts. The 6th Annual Illinois TypeOneNation will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.
T1D affects more than just the person living with the disease, which is why TypeOneNation is open to everyone impacted by T1D — friends, family, caregivers, educators, and healthcare providers. Even children as young as five-years old are welcome to spend the day in the Kids Zone that features arts and crafts, special guest performers, and diabetes education activities.
The day opens at 8am with registration and access to the Wellness Area where attendees are able to see and learn about the leading diabetes devices and resources. After the keynote presentation at 9am, there are three breakout sessions, with three options in each. Breakout sessions include presentations on all things diabetes related: nutrition and fitness, how to work with schools and teachers, psychological aspects of life with T1D, teen-only sessions, and much more. TypeOneNation then comes to a close with a cutting-edge research update at 2pm. Attendees are encouraged to meet and network with others in the T1D community throughout the day.
The TypeOneNation Summit is hosted by JDRF Illinois, the local chapter of the leading global organization funding T1D research. JDRF, which was founded in 1970 by parents determined to find a cure for their children with T1D, has funded more than $2 billion in research and directly contributed to significant progress in understanding and fighting the disease.
Here in Illinois, JDRF relies on dedicated volunteers and generous corporate partners to help the organization host and promote major events like the JDRF One Walk, One Dream Gala, Ride to Cure Diabetes, and many other events that raise critical funds that support the 150 active research grants and 70 clinical trials currently underway to cure, prevent, and treat T1D.
To help newly diagnosed individuals and their families understand and manage the significant changes that T1D can bring to their lives, JDRF Illinois connects them with mentors and support groups located throughout Illinois, sends newly-diagnosed care kits, and hosts the annual TypeOneNation Summit.
Anyone interested in attending TypeOneNation or helping create a world without T1D should visit www.jdrf.org/illinois. There are countless ways to help better the daily lives of all those in the T1D community. For more information, please contact Christine Bissler, Director of Community Engagement for JDRF Illinois, at 312-423-7198.