Kyleigh Fristo is Our #1 for February and our special valentine! Below is a letter from Kyleigh telling her story and why she and her family are so passionate about JDRF! When you read it, you will be as inspired as we are! Go, Kyleigh, go!
Dear supporters of JDRF,
Kyleigh and her pump
Hi! My name is Kyleigh Fristo. I am 3 years old and I love playing on my swing set, playing picnic with my stuffed animals, going to gymnastics, doing crafts, and watching Sofia the first. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 21 months old. My family and I had just gotten back from vacationing in the Outer Banks and started to notice that something was wrong. While we were on vacation I was thirsty a lot and had to go to the bathroom a lot too. We made an appointment with my doctor when we got back into town to have a checkup. The doctor scheduled another visit for the end of the week to be tested for a bladder infection; however we didn’t make it to the appointment because my Mom and Dad had to take me to the emergency room that morning. I woke up very sick and looked pretty frail. I had lost 3 pounds in three days. When we got to the emergency room they ran several tests and found that my sugar was over 600 and I was in a severe state of diabetic ketoacidosis. They took me to my own room in the pediatric ICU and started helping me bring my sugar down. After the longest 24 hours of my life they had finally balanced my sugars out and I was starting to feel and look a lot better.
That was the scariest day of mine and my parent’s life, but we have come a very long way in little over a year and are now working together as a family to manage my diabetes. I just started using an insulin pump about 6 months ago and I love it! I no longer need to get 4 shots a day now! The only thing I have to do is change my site every 3 days. Using my pump is easy! All we have to do is enter my blood sugar and the number of carbs at each meal and it delivers my insulin right to me. We’ve had to make a lot of changes to our daily routine and have also had to become very familiar with counting carbs. Some days it seems like a lot to take in, but with a little extra care I can still maintain my life as an energetic, carefree 3 year old who wants to experience all the world has to offer!
Prior to my diagnosis, my family had already been participating in the annual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, walking for a friend and his family. But, of course, once I was diagnosed we knew we HAD to be involved and create a team of our own! I was diagnosed at the end of August 2012 and with a lot of hard work we were able to put our team together in just enough time for the walk in October. Our first year we raised almost $3,000 on behalf of Kyleigh’s crew and we had over 60 walkers! We were elated that we had so much support from our friends and family and were very happy to be able to contribute the money we raised and put it towards a great cause! And this year, we were able to surpass our goal and raised almost $3,700! We are very proud to be a part of the walk and look forward to many more walks in the future!
I hope that my story can help other young kids and their families understand that Type 1 diabetes can by manageable and you can still be the same great kid you were before you got diagnosed. The diagnoses can come as quite a shock, but with the love and support you receive from everyone around you, you are able to continue living life like a normal kid!