I’ve never known a life without Type 1 diabetes (T1D), a 24/7 chronic autoimmune condition where my pancreas does not produce insulin. Before I was diagnosed as a one-year-old, I threw up every day, I didn’t want to eat, and I would just lie down, totally lacking energy. Today, more than 1.25 million young people in the U.S. alone live with T1D.
My journey to becoming a T1D advocate began when I noticed that my parents left me out of T1D fundraisers and events when I was the one with T1D. My family and I then created the Royal Ball, a family friendly gala that raised more than $1 million over its 6 years.
Publishing Onederland: My Childhood with Type 1 Diabetes was a big surprise for me. Even though I had been writing poetry since I was 5 years old, I did not think I could publish a book. The idea of Onederland began when I looked in my specials bin (where I keep treasured items) a few years ago and saw lots of poems. I continued adding to this collection.
I decided to call my book Onederland because I have had Type 1 diabetes since I was 1 year old, I want my blood sugar numbers to stay in the 100s, and I have 100 poems in my book.
Even though living with T1D is time-consuming, insulin is too expensive, and out-of-range blood sugars have landed me in the hospital, there is so much hope for the future. In these past 14 years, I have experienced many advances in technology, switching from 12-plus daily finger sticks and shots to insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors to closed-loop systems.
I am donating all profits from Onederland: My Childhood with Type 1 Diabetes to T1D nonprofits so that we can find a cure and improve the lives of millions of people, like me, who live with T1D.
Jamie Kurtzig has been living with Type 1 diabetes since she was one year old, and she has been fighting for a cure ever since. As a child, she and her family created the Royal Ball, an annual family friendly gala that raised over $1 million. In 2016, she began organizing the JDRF One Walk teams to raise money for Type 1 dia- betes research, and she has raised over $55,000 with her walk team efforts so far. In 2018, Jamie was the Fund-A-Cure speaker at the JDRF Hope Gala in San Francisco and received the “Living and Giving” award. She and her family were the Honorees at this special event that raised over $2.8 million, and it was the happiest day of her life. Jamie is also a JDRF 2019 Children’s Congress Delegate, a JDRF blogger, a JDRF Youth Ambassador at TypeOneNation Summits, a Junior Summer Associate at The diaTribe Foundation, and a volunteer working with continuous glucose monitors at Stanford University.
Jamie attends Marin Academy and Stanford Online High School. In her free time, she enjoys playing the violin, hanging out with her friends and family, traveling, fencing, and trying new and crazy things. Her goals are to publish a book, visit all seven continents, read Harry Potter in Spanish, play Piazzolla’s "Porteña" on the vio- lin, and make Type 1 diabetes history as a scientist by finding a cure.
Facebook: Onederland Typeone