Toddler with type 1 diabetes to participate in JDRF walk

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — More than 3,200 people are expected to walk Sunday to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Twenty-thousand families in Western New York deal with the daily struggles of this disease.

For 2-year-old Paige Szczesk being a toddler means running around outside and riding her Minnie Mouse 4-wheeler, but she’s one of nearly 150 Western New Yorkers with Type 1 diabetes.

“Once our daughter was diagnosed at 15 months it completely changed our life around, we had to completely change our entire routine, we were sleeping through the night, but we were back to worse than a newborn, we had to get up multiple times a night,” said Ashley Szczesk, Paige’s mother.

Type 1 diabetes means the body doesn’t produce insulin. The American Diabetes Association reports only five percent of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

Paige’s father has it too.

“I wear an insulin pump that basically keeps me alive, I also wear a continuous glucose monitor that monitors my blood sugar 24-7,” said Shane Szczesk.

Despite Shane’s two year old having Type 1 diabetes, he and his wife Ashley told News 4, Paige is still a normal kid and even tries sneaking food in the middle of the night.

Sunday, Paige, Ashley and Shane will be walking in the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation walk to find a cure for this complicated disease.

The Szczesk’s want others to know just how serious this disease is and to break the common misconception that eating too much sugar causes diabetes, when in reality it’s genetics.

The 23rd Annual JDRF walk is at 11:00 am, Sunday, June 12 at Canalside. This year’s goal is to raise more than $730,000 to help fund research and find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

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