Sydney Lyons is 7 years old and is checking her blood sugar. Her mom, Shamae, pricks her finger and tests it: 166. That is about 40 points higher than a normal person’s blood sugar, but for Sydney, it is okay.
She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes three years ago, and she does this every day.
“There’s a lot of issues that can happen. You can lose your legs, you can die, go blind, have heart disease or disease in your kidneys,” Sydney said.
But she is not letting her disease control her. This Sunday, she is headed to Washington, D.C. with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to testify to Congress. Sydney is asking for more research money to find a cure.
“I’m excited to tell them about why it’s important to find a cure for diabetes,” Sydney said.
Shamae said her daughter has already helped to raise $8,000 for diabetes research through an annual walk in Idaho Falls. Because Sydney has been diagnosed, her younger sisters have an even higher chance of getting diabetes, too. Shamae said it is nothing any parent should have to go through.
“You do blame yourself for a while, you carry a lot of guilt, but then the more you learn about Type 1 diabetes, there’s really nothing you can do to prevent an auto-immune disease,” Shamae said.
Despite it all, Sydney said she still feels like a normal kid — most of the time. Her younger sister, Morgan, might have said it best.
“I don’t like it when she has to stop playing with me and go to check her blood sugar cause it makes me feel bad that she has to wait til her blood sugar comes up for her to play with me,” Morgan said.
When she grows up, Sydney said she wants to be a doctor to make sure other people do not have to feel bad.
To find out more about the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, visit www.jdrf.org and cc.jdrf.org for the Children’s Congress. To see Sydney singing a song that the Children’s Congress will perform in D.C., check out her YouTube video.