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Oct 22

LTS Chicago FFCC

Want to put Urlacher to shame while supporting a good cause?

LTS (Live to Support) Chicago is holding their first annual Flag Football Charity Classic on November 21st. Coed teams of 12-20 can register (early bird $375 or $425 after Nov. 7th). The winning team will earn $500 to be donated to any charity they want (Imerman Angels!), as well as $1000 for the charity they represent through the competition (east/west side).

All the info can be found through this link.  Get ready to rumble!
http://www.ltschicago.org/processing/?regevent_action=register&event_id=9

Feb 8
Category: Think Positive!
Tags: , , , , ,
Written By: Imerman Angels @ 5:43 pm

Jimmy InsulinMy name is Jeremy Weisbach, I am 28 years old and I have type 1 diabetes.  I am the founder of Jimmy Insulin, a 1 on 1 diabetes support non-profit organization.  Today, I proudly say that I am a diabetic.  However, I didn’t feel this way my whole life and I’d like to explain why…

It was summer time in 1990. I was 9 years old and trying to be normal and fit in, like all kids hope to do. I was playing in a neighborhood baseball league and attending Banner day camp. All of a sudden, I started getting headaches. They became increasingly more frequent. My parents and I started noticing peculiar symptoms. I was drinking and urinating excessively. I was sleeping in and waking up in the afternoon. I was having severe mood swings. Something was going on…

Monday, July 30, 1990, I was at Banner Day camp. My brother and sister were going to camp there as well. My brother threw up and the nurses called my mom to get him. My mom came and picked up my brother, Jonathan, my sister, Marni, and I, and took us all to the doctor. At the doctor’s office, they took a urine sample from me. On the way out of the office, I went to grab a sucker like I always did when I visited the doctor. Right before I got my hand on the sucker, a nurse put her hand right over the bowl and said I couldn’t have one. She was stern and unmoving. At that moment, I was in shock. I was dumfounded that this lady not let me have a sucker…she’s not my parent. I got very confused…

Then my world changed forever. My mother seemed very upset. We were going home, but I was going to have to go to the hospital. I remember packing a suitcase with my mom and then going to Lutheran General Hospital. They ran some tests. The doctor came in and officially diagnosed me with diabetes. What’s diabetes??? I asked. Then the questions poured out. What does it mean? Why did I get it? What will I have to do with it??? I was completely lost…and so was my mom.

The doctors told me that diabetes meant I had to follow a meal plan, take medication, and exercise regularly. I was only 9 and felt like my life was ruined. That night I asked my mom why this happened to me and we both cried…

My mom never left the hospital. It seemed like I was at Lutheran General forever. Friends and family came to visit daily. I had great support. I spent about a week there before getting released. The day after I got released, my mom let me return to camp. Now, I had to carry a fanny pack with me. Inside the fanny pack was my glucometer, a juice box, peanut butter crackers, and insulin. I hated wearing it. It made me feel different. Upon my return to camp, one of my best friends came up to my mom and said she had nothing to worry about and that he would take care of me. That was the first time my mom felt relief since the diagnosis. Today, that friend is a doctor.

Growing up with diabetes was tough. I ignored and neglected the diabetes. I didn’t accept the fact that I had diabetes. I felt very depressed and isolated from the world. I didn’t feel that I should have it. Why me?? None of my friends or family had diabetes. I fought it. I refused to acknowledge it or the lifestyle changes I would have to make. I had continued support from my family, friends, and doctors but I wouldn’t accept their support. I felt they didn’t know what I was going through. My endocrinologist didn’t have diabetes, either. How could they give me advice when they didn’t know firsthand what I was going through: no one understood me. No one could help me find my way through the nightmare of Juvenile Diabetes. I survived despite myself.

Through the years of neglect, I had several close calls. I was kicked out of overnight camp at the age of 12 because of lack of control. I was forced to leave just four days before the end. I missed all the parties and special good-byes. It was traumatic. I had a diabetic seizure when I was 14. My mother saved my life by coming into my room and calling 911. On New Years Eve 2000, I partied too much. I got home shortly after midnight, threw up constantly from drinking too much and my blood sugar went dangerously low. I was rushed to the emergency room. In January 2001, I was staying with my grandmother in Oak Park. I had a diabetic seizure and woke up in the hospital. My grandmother saved my life. In college, my roommates would have to monitor my blood sugars because I would get so drunk I didn’t know what was going on. I thank G-d my best friend was sober 24/7 because he saved my life on multiple occasions.

I have had many close calls. It wasn’t until after college that I came to the realization that I was risking damage to myself that I might not be able to undo. After several interventions, a good family friend of mine, Dr. Stewart Segal, got through to me. He said I had to start taking my life seriously or lose it. I had to take care of myself and properly manage my diabetes. I was getting on the right path. I quit drinking and finally accepted the disease and learned how to manage it to keep it in control. I have not had an emergency room visit or seizure since graduating college. I feel very happy and grateful to be alive today. I thank all my friends, family, doctors, and close ones throughout the years. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today to tell my story.


Recently I realized what was missing during my early years as a diabetic. I never had a buddy to talk to who was going through the same thing I was going through-someone I could ask questions of and seek answers from. Most importantly, I needed someone who had diabetes that I could trust and that I could relate to. My family, my friends, and my doctors, were great, but none of them had diabetes. The direct connection was missing.

In 2008, inspired by Imerman Angels and encouraged by Jonny Imerman, “Jimmy Insulin” was born. No longer would a diabetic have to feel the isolation of growing up with the disease alone! Jimmy Insulin believes one on one support is essential for the physical, mental, social, and emotional well being of diabetics. Jimmy Insulin will mentor the new diabetic into his or her new world. Jimmy Insulin will provide this free service to diabetics and their close ones. Diabetics can now find a better way to transition and live in their new world by linking to those diabetics who survived it. Jimmy Insulin exists to guide diabetics and their close ones through this journey.

If you or anyone you know or meet has been touched by diabetes, please refer them to Jimmy Insulin.  We would love to get them connected!

Warmest regards,

Jeremy

Jeremy Weisbach, 312-515-3353, jeremy@jimmyinsulin.org

Jan 14
IANow that we have three fulltime staff (Rynell, Laura and Lisa: “Jonny’s Angels”) focusing on pair-ups and registering new mentor angels, we’ve been getting a lot done around here! It’s been another busy week. Please take a few minutes to read about this amazing connection that we made today.
Thanks to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a sweet 77 year old woman, living in Texas reached out for 1on1 support. She’s currently battling stage II papillary thyroid cancer and mentioned that she’s still in disbelief from her cancer diagnosis. The thyroid cancer has also effected her vocal cords therefore she has a very scratchy and raspy voice. She plans to start the radioactive iodine in the upcoming weeks. We found the perfect mentor angel for her: a local Chicagoan who survived stage III papillary thyroid cancer. She’s 61 years young and incredibly full of life. Her vocal cords were also effected during her battle with the papillary. I know that these two women will not only share their cancer experience and stories but will hopefully become lifelong friends. Texas to Illinois!
Have a great weekend!

Nov 22

 

IA LogoWeekly Pair-Up Spotlight: The Angel & Caregiver Duo

We had some pretty incredible fighter, survivor and caregiver connections this past week… it’s hard to choose just one to spotlight!

A husband and wife reached out to us from the western suburbs of Chicago. They’re both in their late 40s and also have two healthy children at home. The family learned about Imerman Angels at the Rush Hospital Cancer Survivor’s Day. The husband recently had a reoccurrence of Multiple Myeloma and wanted to connect with another guy who went through Multiple Myeloma with a reoccurrence. His wife also wanted to connect to another caregiver – someone who could relate to what she’s currently going through. Imerman Angels was able to introduce this family to another amazing family – a man who also had a reoccurrence of Multiple Myeloma and his wife, an incredible and sweet caregiver. They’re both in their late 30s, living in the northern suburbs of Chicago, they also have a child and were also treated at Rush Hospital in Chicago . This particular survivor and caregiver angel duo are shining stars who have helped many other families dealing with Multiple Myeloma!

 We’ve already received feedback that both families have connected and will plan to stay in touch to provide support, inspiration and encouragement! This is what Imerman Angels is all about! If you or someone you know would like to get connected for 1-on-1 support, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Everyone on staff at IA is a cancer survivor – we can immediately relate to what you’re going through. We’re more than happy to get you connected to someone else who is exactly like you. Someone who’s been there, done that – and has walked a mile in your shoes!

Oct 21

 

Chris Weber sports his Imerman Angels t-shirt in Rome with fiancée Michelle Molise (IA Volunteer Committee Chair and Public Relations guru).

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