‘Denim and Diamonds’ fundraiser for diabetes

With the aim of raising funds for the Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation, the third annual Denim and Diamonds dinner and dance runs Sept. 18.

Held at the Harvest Centre, the event starts at 5 p.m. with cocktails. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. with the dance, featuring the group Porter, starting at 8 p.m. There will also be raffle, a silent auction and lots of door prizes.

Diabetes is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting every organ system. There are two major types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food.

Type 1 diabetes usually strikes in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood, and lasts a lifetime. Just to survive, people with Type 1 diabetes must take multiple injections of insulin daily or continually infuse insulin through a pump.

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively. Type 2 is usually diagnosed in adulthood and does not always require insulin injections. However, increased obesity has led to a recent rise in cases of Type 2 diabetes in children and young adults.

Meanwhile, Type 1 diabetes can strike suddenly, and it also carries the constant threat of devastating complications. It’s the leading cause of kidney failure, adult blindness, nerve damage and non-traumatic amputations.

Symptoms include extreme thirst, frequent urination, drowsiness or lethargy, increased appetite, sudden weight loss for no reason, sudden vision changes, sugar in urine, fruity odour on breath, heavy or laboured breathing, stupor or unconsciousness.

According to the Foundation, people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without the disease.

Life with Type 1 diabetes poses challenges for every member of the family, explains Bonnie Gardiner, president of the local chapter of the Juvenille Diabetes Foundation. It’s also sometimes a challenge for those with it to make and maintain the necessary lifestyle changes that a diagnosis demands.

She said last year’s Denim and Diamonds event raised $23,000. This year’s fundraising walk for the Foundation, held this past June, raised $81,000 for the cause.

With the prevalence of the disease and it’s potentially devastating impact on a person’s health, it’s vital that funds continue to come in for research towards finding a cure, she said.

For those attending the Denim and Diamonds event, an enjoyable and entertaining evening awaits. “It ends up being a really fabulous evening,” she said.

For more information, call Bonnie Gardiner at 403-986-2280 or 403-357-0077.

For tickets to the Denim and Diamonds dinner and dance, call Ticketmaster at 403-340-4455 or check out www.ticketmaster.ca.