Local Families Share Their Reason for Walking and Supporting Breakthrough T1D. Who’s Your #1?


The Desert Southwest Chapter of Breakthrough T1D would like to acknowledge and create awareness in our community by sharing a local family story from each office location. 

Marisa 2012Phoenix – Five years ago our daughter Marisa Medina was diagnosed at the age of 17 months with type I diabetes (T1D).  After our family was over the shock of Marisa being diagnosed we made a commitment to help find a cure for Marisa and so many other families struggling to manage this disease. With the support of all our family and friends we formed Team “Sweet Misa”. Over the past 4 years our walk team has continued to grow. Our team started out with 38 walkers and we have grown to over 95 walkers. Our family is amazed at the generosity and heart felt care given by this fabulous team. With the assistance of friends, family, and overall caring community, we have set up several successful fundraisers and raise as much money as we can.

DylanJayden1Tucson – Meet Jessica, Dustin, Jadyn and Dylan Gangwer they love bike riding, camping and being with friends and family. Their son Dylan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the age of seven. Here is his story:

I just wasn’t feeling well and was going to the bathroom frequently. I was tired all the time and experienced agonizing stomach pains. My mom scheduled a doctor appointment on a Friday but a few days before, my stomach pains were unbearable so we went to the E.R. When I was called into my room they checked my blood sugar, and I was quickly moved to the PICU and had to stay in the hospital for 4 days. It was challenging getting used to checking my blood sugar and needing to take shots when I eat. I’m 11 years old now and I currently have an insulin pump, the insulin pump makes diabetes so much easier to control. I am thankful for all the people who sponsor and participate in the Walk to Cure Diabetes and I am hopeful we find a cure.

Mom, Jessica Gangwer shares, while T1D has changed our life dramatically, it has not slowed us down. Through the ups and downs we stay together as a family, because we are all in this together. We are very grateful for the support of Breakthrough T1D and the resources that are available to us. We are hopeful that one day there will be a cure, but until then we are very thankful to live in a time where Dylan can have a normal life and be a kid.

New Mexico – Michael Seibel shares how he hangs tough with his son John Seibel, the toughest person he has ever known and one of the best endocrinologists in the State ofNew Mexico!  In the months before John was diagnosed he was hiking 10 miles every weekend in order to prepare for a 70 mile hike to Philmont Scout Ranch.  Just three days before he was admitted to the hospital with a 680 blood sugar he passed his algebra final with a 100%. When admitted to the hospital he didn’t cry over the pain.  He volunteered his body for a Phase II drug study.  Had a PICC line inserted and took 14 days of transfusions. He tests six times a day and gives himself insulin. When I worked in his office, I saw the patients with the end stages of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and realized he was one tough man. As John says, “There is no one who can hurt me anymore, I have had so many things done to and stuck in my body I can’t imagine any more pain.

So why do I raise money for Breakthrough T1D?  I am just a simple lawyer.  All I can do is support the tough doctors, nurses and medical personnel on the front lines. Hopefully, some of the money I raise will bring a little less worry to the mothers, fathers and grandparents who deal with this disease hour by hour; like my wifeShari.  She has kept her emotions in check while monitoring John’s daily blood sugars, watching him prick his finger, watching infusions of insulin, and worrying every night that John’s blood sugar would go too low. But most of all the reason I raise money is to honor the toughest fighters of them all, the type 1 diabetic children, teens and adults; people like my son John, the toughest person I have ever met.     

Desert Southwest Chapter Logo Thank you for sharing our passion and dedication to improve the lives of those affected by T1D. If you have any questions regarding the walk and/or registration, please feel free to contact your local Breakthrough T1D office.

Don’t delay and register today for one of our three walk sites:
* Tucson, Arizona – Walk to Cure Diabetes Celebrating Ron Santo taking place on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at Rillito Park.
* Tempe, Arizona – Walk to Cure Diabetes Celebrating Ron Santo on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at Tempe Town Lake.
* Albuquerque, NM – Walk to Cure Diabetes Saturday, November 3, 2012 atAlbuquerqueBalloonFiestaPark.

We hope you plan to join us!

Desert Southwest ChapterStaff