May 2016

Fundraiser to Fight Type 1 Diabetes

JDRF_onewalkThis is a special post about how you can help me raise money for a very important charity, and also win amazing autographed and game-used sports memorabilia.  Please click on http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/mattsbats and read below.

Last October, after being rushed to the emergency room of Childrens’ National Medical Center in Washington, DC, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks all the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone vital to changing food into energy and keeping you alive.  Although no one knows what causes Type 1 Diabetes (it is some combination of genetics and exposure to something in the environment), this form of diabetes is a lifelong disease, and currently there is no cure for it.  About 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 Diabetes, and usually it is diagnosed as a kid, which is why it is sometimes known as “juvenile” diabetes (although it lasts all your life).

If you’ve heard the term “diabetes” from friends, relatives or on TV, most likely they were referring to Type 2 Diabetes, a much more common, although totally different, form of the disease.  About 30 million people in America (about 9% of the population) have Type 2 diabetes.  Unlike Type 1, their bodies are still able to make insulin, but they can still get very sick unless they improve their diet and exercise or take medicines to help jumpstart their bodies to make enough insulin to meet their needs.

Most of the time, if someone is suffering from a chronic disease, there are some kinds of signs or symptoms you can recognize.  If you looked at me, you would never know I have a chronic disease.  But I do have to pay very close attention to my medical needs.  I need to constantly balance my blood sugar levels with my need for insulin, which I do by giving myself a shot of insulin at least 4 times a day (before meals and one basal injection as well).  I have to know when I am going to eat, what I am going to eat, how many grams of carbohydrates are in my meals, and how much insulin to inject to balance the carb intake, and how much activity I am going to be engaging in.  I also wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to make sure that my blood sugar is not too high, or even more important, not too low, which can lead to a very serious hypoglycemia emergency.  That’s why I also carry some candy around in case my blood sugar drops, and I need a sugar boost to avoid getting shaky or even passing out.  This is what goes through the head of everyone with Type 1 Diabetes all day.  It’s especially hard as a kid, because you have to learn all about the disease and how to treat it, while keeping up with all your non-diabetic friends who can eat whatever they want (whenever they want) or workout as hard as they can without even thinking about it.

Fortunately, my diabetes hasn’t stopped me from doing anything.  I still go to school, play sports, and hang out with friends.  And I still write MattsBats.com, my baseball blog.  If you don’t yet know about me, I am the youngest Pro Blogger on MLB.com’s blogging website.  I’ve gotten to travel to lots of different ballparks, meet players and broadcasters, go behind the scenes of Major League Baseball.  I’ve covered sports events across the country from Wrigley Field to Fenway Park, and from the red carpet in Hollywood to the White House.  Since I’ve been diagnosed, I’ve also met athletes with Type 1 Diabetes and I am using my blogging and social media to raise money and awareness for great organizations that are helping to cure Type 1 Diabetes.

This is where I need your help!

I have started a team to participate in the JDRF One Walk event on the National Mall on June 5, 2016.  My goal is to raise $11,000 this year– $1,000 for each year of my age.  I know that sounds really ambitious, but in the past MattsBats.com readers have helped me raise almost that much for cancer charity.

So I am asking all my readers to sign up to walk with my friends and family, or to consider making a donation to JDRF. The JDRF is the leading international non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes. I recently met with the CEO of JDRF, Derek Rapp, at their Type 1 Nation Research Summit, to ask him how JDRF is going to use the money donated by supporters.

 

Here is where it gets very exciting!

Some of my friends from the baseball world have generously donated some awesome game-used and autographed memorabilia to help support me and help me raise money for my JDRF One Walk team.  For example, Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and his wife Erica donated a bunch of unique autographed items, including some items celebrating his two no-hitters in the 2016 season.

Max Scherzer Autographed "No Hitter" Cap

Max Scherzer Autographed “No Hitter” Cap.  Bid to support Team Matt’s Bats in JDRF One Walk

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and his wife Heather have given me one of Ryan’s used baseball bats and some batting gloves, which he autographed.  There is a lot more very cool items from other baseball players, as well as other professional athletes.  New items are still coming in from other sports teams!

DSC_0249

Autographed Ryan Zimmerman used baseball bat. Bid to support Team Matt’s Bats in JDRF One Walk

These items will be available to bid on in an auction, and 100% of the money will go to JDRF.

Auction

Ready to Bid?  Let’s Get Started!!

Washington Nationals Max Scherzer Signed “No Hitter” Hat

Washington Nationals Ryan Zimmerman Signed Batting Glove

Washington Nationals Gio Gonzalez Signed Hat

Washington Nationals Max Scherzer No-Hitter Plaque

 

If you aren’t able to win the auction items, I will be giving things away free to anyone who supports me with donations to my One Walk team, or who signs up to walk with me.  Other items will be available to people who help me promote my fundraising on social media.

Stay tuned to MattsBats.com and @MattsBats on Twitter to learn how you can bid on or win these unique items.

Also, please click here to join “Team Matt’s Bats” on my JDRF One Walk team or donate money to my fundraising campaign. http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/mattsbats

 

Even if you don’t donate money or come to the event, you should read these facts about T1D, so at least you get a little bit of education about it.

Thanks so much for everyone who chooses to donate or to come to the JDRF One Walk and become a member of “Team Matt’s Bats” or even just retweets me or copies this post on Facebook!

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