Local mom creates 3 a.m. challenge to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes

Posted at 3:05 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 22:14:54-04

This Saturday morning, thousands of people are expected at Lewis & Clark Landing along the Omaha riverfront. They will walk to raise awareness and money to benefit JDRF. They are hoping, medical experts soon find a cure for type 1 diabetes. 

Jill Rotella wanted to end her year as JDRF board president with something special. She created the #JDRF3AM challenge. 

She did a Facebook Live video at 3 a.m. to invite people into her home and see what type 1 diabetes really looks like. 

"We check Louie's blood sugars at midnight and 3 a.m.," Rotella said. 

Her 17-year-old son, Louie, now wears a sensor that is able to monitor his blood sugars without a finger poke. Rotella and her husband can check that information on their phone. He's only been wearing that monitor for less than two years though, so she understands what it means to have to make these checks during the night. 

"You poke his finger, and you check his blood sugar, and if it's too high, you have to give him insulin and then you have to wait 20 minutes to make sure it's coming down to a safe level, but then you have to wake up again to make sure he didn't go too low." Rotella says it is an exhausting process. 

She credits JDRF for life-changing technology like the continuous monitor, but this mom on a mission, wants more. She wants a cure. "It would be all of my prayers answered that I have been praying the last 9 and a half years."

Rotella's #JDRF3AM challenge video has garnered more than 5,000 views. It also encouraged people to donate more than $12,000 in four days and compelled others to share their 3 a.m. stories.
KMTV 3 News Now is a proud media sponsor of the JDRF One Walk. Anchor Jennifer Griswold will be emceeing the kick-off to the walk.