Love of family, need for action spurs JDRF South Dakota

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 11:07 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Health officials say the number of people being diagnosed with Type One Diabetes is on the rise and they’re hoping to increase community awareness and involvement for their cause.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of South Dakota held an organizational meeting on Friday hoping to get more people involved.

According to the South Dakota Department of Health, at least 62-thousand people in the state are living with Diabetes....which is putting the state on a course where one out of every 10 residents will have the disease.

“My family has a lot of Type One Diabetes in it. My oldest brother was diagnosed the year I was born so I’ve never known life without a Type One Diabetic in my life. His daughter was diagnosed about three years ago and she’s like a daughter to me.”, said Jessi Buer.

Jessi Buer knows the effect Diabetes can have on a family. Buer is the lead volunteer for JDRF South Dakota. Last June she planned a fundraising walk in Sioux Falls....essentially by herself.

This meeting today is meant to increase community awareness......and community involvement.

“Having more volunteers would allow us to have more events for our local Type One community. Right now I’m heading up a lot of them and I’m only one person and this is a volunteer basis for me so if we can get more volunteers we could do a lot more things and build up that community again.”, said Buer.

Governor Noem spoke to the meeting via video as did Congressman Johnson, Senators Thune and Rounds, and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith.

U-S senate candidate Brian Bengs appeared in person.

So did Matt Gassen, hoping to learn more about what he can do is help the JDRF cause.

“I have a concern for anything that’s impacting our children and Diabetes unfortunately is a disease that often times diagnosed when children are young. But the worst thing is it follows them through their entire life. I find it challenging that we have this disease out there that we need to be striving to find a cure for.”, said Gassen.

JDRF fundraising efforts are leading to results in the form of new medications that are making a true difference in the lives of those with Type One Diabetes....and those at risk for it.

“There’s a drug that has come out that is actually a disease-modifying drug. It’s not a cure but it does delay the onset of the disease for up to three years. Which can be huge for a young child or even a teenager.”, said Buer.

If you’d like more information about getting involved, you can send a message on the JDRF South Dakota Facebook page.