Type 1 Diabetes Walk Happens In Plano

Major advances in technology have made life easier for people with type 1 diabetes, an auto-immune disease that attacks the pancreas and dangerously affects a person's blood sugar levels.

However, there is still no cure for the disease, which affects 1.25 million Americans.

One family in Frisco is working hard to change that.

Michael Sharp is a champion for type 1 diabetes awareness. He was diagnosed with the disease when he was 4-years-old and now, at age 12, has become a pro at checking his blood sugar levels.

"This is my pump that gives me insulin throughout the day, at meals and I use that instead of taking four to five shots a day," said Sharp.

Technology, like the insulin pump and an app that gives him real time blood glucose readings from a device attached to his body, gives the Sharp family better control in managing the disease compared to three years ago.

"Now we can operate more based on alarms that we set for where is his blood sugar is versus having to set an alarm to go do a finger prick every three hours so it's made a huge impact on our lives," said his father Dennis Sharp.

It's an impact for which they're grateful but it's not a cure.

Right now, researchers are working on medications to delay onset of the disease, as well as vaccine to type 1 diabetes. The ultimate goal is finding a cure.

"Right now, we have over 500 different initiatives going on research-wise throughout the world.  We give a 150 grants every year to scientists to approach this from all the different ways," said Tanya Conovaloff with the JDRF Greater Dallas.

To help them get there, families like the Sharps spend hours fundraising for the cause.

The Sharps have raised $60,000 dollars in eight years so that maybe one day Michael can live a life free of type 1 diabetes. 

"For there to be a cure in his lifetime would be awesome. We would love for him to be able to say, 'I used to have type one diabetes,'" said Patti Sharp.

The JDRF annual walk happens this weekend in Plano.  

When you participate in your local JDRF One Walk, the money you raise supports life-changing breakthroughs that give hope to everyone impacted by this disease.

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