MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Jack, an 11-year-old Tulsa boy, doesn't allow Type 1 Diabetes slow him down

Eleven-year-old Jack is in a daily battle with Type 1 diabetes.

"I don't like the disease, so I just wanna get up in its face and tell you that I am not going to let you change my life."

His winning smile, his love of playing most every sport and his positive attitude mask how serious his illness is.  

A tiny miscalculation in insulin dosage can lead to coma, or death.

"Probably having seizures is the worst part of this disease," Jack says. "And then, there's also, having to go to sleep. Knowing that if something doesn't work out you might not wake up."  

Unlike Type 2 diabetes that can be overcome, Type 1 has no known cause, no cure. A fact Jack and his family must live with every minute of the day.

"It's just the most agonizing thing because we can't fix him. We can't make it go away, he doesn't ever get a break from it... it's an absolutely relentless disease," says his mom Jennifer Maricle.

Jack is pretty relentless, too. He participates in the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's 'Walk to Cure" with his team the Jack Pack with amazing results.  

"In the last three years he's raised almost $30,000. So it's hard to say 'no' to that little face," says his mom.

He puts in a lot of time going with the Tulsa Foundation's director, T.J. Warren,  to speak to groups about Type 1. "He can speak about it better than anyone else."

This summer, Jack went to Washington, D.C. as one of only two delegates from Oklahoma to the Children's Congress to speak about the disease to the nation's elected officials.

Jack has to use needles to test himself, and inject himself, up to 20 times a day to manage his Type 1.

Even little sister, Kate, is trained to give an emergency injection, just in case.  

It's not something any child should have to know. Yet Jack takes it all in stride.  

"Til the day we find a cure," he says.

And he keeps moving forward and Making a Difference.

Eighty-five percent of the money raised through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's "Walk to Cure" goes directly to research.

The walk is Sept. 28.

Print this article Back to Top