New sources reported that in the U.S. Americans spend nearly $2.6 billion on candy for Halloween. United Press International reported that the average child collects between 3,500 and 7,000 calories from candy while trick or treating. Clearly, Halloween is a kid’s holiday.
Now, imagine you’re a child diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. You’ve collected an enormous haul of goodies – but what do you do with it?
Kids with T1D know that every bite they eat impacts their disease, but they don’t let it stand in the way of having fun during Halloween.
The good folks at JDRF have found a way to help T1D kids enjoy Halloween minus the sugar. JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Their mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. T1D seems to have a genetic component and can be diagnosed early in life, but also in adulthood. Its causes are not fully known, and there is currently no cure. People with T1D are dependent on injected or pumped insulin to survive. There is nothing anyone can do to prevent T1D.
(Note: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) shares the name diabetes, but the two diseases are very different. T2D is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively. It can be managed with diet and exercise or medication.)
In 2016, LLoyd joined forces with JDRF, choosing it as our community business partner to help advocate and ultimately eradicate T1D. A program called Placements with a Purpose was implemented by principals, Keith Banks, CSP, President and Jason Banks, CSP, EVP, whereby LLoyd contributes to JDRF for placements (hires) the company makes with client employers and for temporary associates/contractors who are sent on assignment at client firms. Says Keith, “We decided we wanted LLoyd to have a direct connection to a cause that mattered to us personally and to focus on one cause in a bigger way than to make smaller contributions across a broad range of platforms. Our mother, great grandmother and close family friends have all had to manage the life of a TID diabetic. It always remained private and within our family as a kind of silent disease. When we lost our mother in 2012 to a sickness that was complicated by diabetes, we suddenly realized how great her battle had always been and how she fought it every day with a smile and without fuss.”
As part of LLoyd’s ongoing involvement with JDRF, this year we participated in their annual SWITCH WITCH. This event which took place this past Saturday at The Long Island Sports Complex in Freeport, NY. It allowed families to take the focus away from the candy in a positive, enjoyable, and fun way for kids. Thanks to donations from retailers, corporations and individual employees at companies like LLoyd, the Switch Witch provided an opportunity to trade candy in for a surprise such as small toys or gifts.Children were encouraged to wear their costumes and the day included games, competitions and other activities and healthy snacks. JDRF then takes the candy collected and distributes it to veterans programs and local soup kitchens.
In addition to treat donations made by LLoyd staff members, employees Dawn Viergutz, CSP, Client Success Director and Jason Banks, CSP, EVP volunteered at Switch Witch. Dawn brought her daughter and two grandchildren and Jason brought his daughter. Says Jason,“When you get up close and see T1D kids effectively dealing with their disease within the confines of some of best parts of being a kid – like Halloween candy – it definitely makes an impact and makes you want to do more. JDRF helps parents and kids maintain a normalcy that might otherwise be impossible.” Dawn adds, “It was overwhelming to see the joy and positivity in that room among kids. I was both moved and impressed.”
- Some 1.25 million Americans are living with T1D, including about 200,000 youth (less than 20 years old) and more than 1 million adults (20 years old and older).
- 40,000 people are diagnosed each year in the U.S.
- 5 million people in the U.S. are expected to have T1D by 2050, including nearly 600,000 youth.
- Between 2001 and 2009, there was a 21 percent increase in the prevalence of T1D in people under age 20.3
- In the U.S., there are $14 billion in T1D-associated healthcare expenditures and lost income annually.
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