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Cheryl Anderson column: Monopoly Gala helps raise funds for juvenile diabetes research

Appleton Post Crescent

1763 days ago   Article ID# 357650
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The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

APPLETON , WISCONSIN (Appleton Post Crescent) - In 2006, Michael Romenesko, then 26, had a lot on his plate. He was finishing dental school, closing on a house with fiancee, Dana Paschen, and planning a wedding when he got the news.

He had Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes. But like many, he was surprised it could come about in adulthood.

"I was blaming my signs and symptoms on all of the other things going on in my life, but after hearing many comments about my weight from friends and family and preparing to actually hear what my physician might have to say, I decided to go in and get checked out," he said.

"At the initial appointment I learned that I had lost 55 pounds, had a blood sugar of 780 and had a A1C (the test of blood sugar levels over the past 3 months) of 16.8. My physician told me that he was quite certain that I did in fact have Type 1 diabetes. He also informed me a person can develop Type 1 diabetes at any age. One blood test later confirmed it, and my everyday life was changed forever."

Romenesko will attend his third Celebrity Monopoly Gala tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton. Now in its sixth year, the fundraising goal for the event is $152,000, said Julie Kersten, executive director of the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

"It's meant to be an opportunity to have a fun evening and to really let people know the research we are doing, and the things we are doing in the community and for them to support us in that way."

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is committed to aggressively developing life-enhancing treatments and ultimately a cure for all people with Type 1 diabetes (or are at risk for it) and its complications.

Romenesko, whose family business, Romenesko Family Dentistry in Appleton, is active in JDRF, had an understanding of diabetes when he was diagnosed, but really didn't understand what a diabetic's daily life was like.

"High and low blood sugars are life-threatening, and poor control over time can cause severe damage to one's organs," he said. "It is not something you are only concerned with when you eat or drink. Diabetics need to be aware of their blood sugar while they exercise, travel and even while sleeping."

Romenesko credits research for the continuous glucose monitor he received a year ago, which helps control dangerously low blood sugars. The CGM was cited by ABC news as one of the Top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2008.

Another exciting development in metabolic control, he said, is the artificial pancreas, which is expected to be available in the next few years.

"I have no doubt in my mind that one day, in the near future, we will have a cure," Romenesko said.

Copyright 2014 Appleton Post Crescent   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1763 days ago   Article ID# 357650

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