Play Dodgeball for a Diabetes Cure. Teams Forming Now for Nov. 10 Event
In the 2004 sports spoof, “Dodgeball,” infamous (fictional) coach Patches O’Houlihn said that there were five Ds in Dodgeball: Dodge. Dip. Duck. Dive. and when he couldn’t think of a fifth one said Dodge again.
In Annapolis next month, there will be another D added. Diabetes.
Jennie Grimm is launching a Dodgeball Tournament on Nov. 10 at Pip Moyer Recreation Center to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, an organization dear to her, especially after finding out her son Jack, at seven years old, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Grimm said it started the week of Jack’s seventh birthday. Something was wrong. As a mom she knew that something wasn’t right, but she couldn’t seem to get an appointment with her pediatrician. They put her off saying she could come in for an appointment in three weeks.
“I knew something was going on. He’d lost weight and he was constantly thirsty,” Grimm said.
A friend of hers who had a glucose monitor (a little device that checks for blood sugar levels. Normal levels are 90-120).
“She said she would come over after work so that we could rule that out,” Grimm said. “She tested his and then she asked to test mine. Mine tested normal. She said she just wanted to make sure her machine was functioning. She tested him again. He had 746.”
From there, Jack went straight to the emergency room. High blood sugar like that can cause serious damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves among other possible complications. Jack was then sent to Johns Hopkins pediatric unit, where he stayed for a week with Jennie. They both learned about injections, monitoring blood sugar levels and the proper diet.
“This is a condition he will have to manage for the rest of his life,” Grimm said of her son.
By trade, Grimm is a fundraiser. Now she had an issue that hit close to home. She wanted to raise money for research and a cure. She wanted to set up a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Association, and she wanted it to be fun—something that kids and adults could get into. She wants to raise awareness, but also let everyone have an afternoon to could get together and play the same game.
That is where Dodgeball came in.
Right now, they are arranging and accepting entries for teams and players. Visit the website here to get information on entering. The play will go three minutes, best three games out of five, so things will move along swiftly from one game to the next. No experience is necessary. Spectators are admitted for free.
Grimm is also hoping to get the local food mascots, like Chick Fil-a, Menchies and Buffalo Wild Wings to come and play a game against local sports mascots, like the Bayhawk and Louie the Baysox.
Jack Grimm is one of the Dodgeball ambassadors. He used to have to prick his finger for tests 10 to 15 times a day. Now he wears an insulin pump. He is recruiting students from St. Marys school as well as friends from sports like lacrose and flag football.
Another ambassador is West River’s Dane Leoniak, who found out the day after Valentine’s Day in 2010 (right after Snowmaggedon) that he had Type 1. He called it the worst day of his life. Dane’s Type 1 is controlled by an insulin pump as well. Leoniak is also a youth ambassador for the Maryland chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and active in sports.
The third ambassador is Gabby Batrouni, 6. She doesn’t know what life was like without Type 1 diabetes because she was diagnosed at 15 months old. She wears a pump as well.
“When I get sad and overwhelmed with my diabetes, my parents tell me that there are people working on a cure,” Gabby said.
In fact all three of these young people want to find a cure in their lifetimes. The research is promising, but it isn’t there yet, and that is where funding for research can make a big difference and allow scientists to pursue new technologies and potential cures.
Type 1 diabetes is not caused by diet or lack of exercise. It can hit children or adults. Here is how the University of Maryland describes it:
Type 1 diabetes is usually a progressive autoimmune disease, in which the beta cells that produce insulin are slowly destroyed by the body’s own immune system. It is unknown what first starts this cascade of immune events, but evidence suggests that both a genetic predisposition and environmental factors, such as a viral infection, are involved.
Grimm found out about her son because she was proactive with his health. About 15,000 young people are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes throughout the course of their lifetime. There are symptoms to be aware of. They may come on suddenly and include:
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Drowsiness or lethargy
- Increased appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Sudden vision changes
- Sugar in the urine
- Fruity odor on the breath
- Heavy or labored breathing
- Stupor or unconsciousness
If you or your child have some of these symptoms, get them checked. Time spent not on controlling medication can introduce a host of other physical ailments including kidney problems, vision problems, nerve problems and more.
If you would like to sign up for the Dodgeball tournament, visit the registration page here. The event will take place Nov. 10 at the Pip Moyer Recreation Center, 273 Hilltop Lane, Annapolis. Play times will be determined once the rosters are full. There is no charge to watch the tournament. The rock wall and velocity will be open during the tournament for an additional fee (unaffiliated with the fundraiser).
And remember, the five Ds of Dodgeball are?
- Dive and a
- Diabetes cure!