Two years ago, a fluke--and nearly fatal--malfunction of her pancreas
landed Kim in the intensive care unit of Indiana University Hospital for
weeks. The fabulous medical staff there saved her life. In one of the
three surgeries Kim underwent, they had to remove most of her pancreas,
leaving Kim with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes.
of you may know, diabetes is perhaps the most difficult chronic disease
to manage on a day-to-day basis. Kim has to check her blood sugar
multiple times a day, figure out the appropriate insulin doses, and
inject herself to keep her blood sugar levels within the normal range.
The long-term complications that can result from type 1 diabetes are
serious, but the short term danger of low blood sugar levels is always
present. Low blood sugar can lead to dizziness, disorientation,
unconsciousness, coma, and even death.
It can be very hard for
someone with diabetes to detect when their blood sugar is too low. But
about 15 years ago, someone figured out that dogs (whose sense of smell
is thousands of times more sensitive than ours) could be trained to
This campaign is to raise $5000 for Kim
to buy and train a diabetic alert dog that will be able to detect low
blood sugar levels and warn Kim before they've gone low enough to cause
serious harm. (Buying a fully trained diabetic alert dog would cost
upwards of $10,000 but Kim is hoping to buy a puppy and take it to the
training classes herself.)