Imagine taking as many as eight or more shots a day just to stay alive. That's the reality for more than three million type I diabetics, according to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Twelve year old Caleb Perry checks his blood sugar as many as twelve times a day. That's twelve needle pricks to a finger.
"Most kids when they get up, they brush their teeth, get breakfast. I have to do both of those and check my blood sugars," said Caleb, talking about his daily routine.
He was diagnosed with diabetes at just five years old. His pancreas doesn't produce insulin needed to break down glucose and create energy for the body. Instead, he monitors his blood sugar and injects insulin with a syringe.
"I normally get about eight insulin shots everyday."
Diabetes is a 24/7 battle without a cure. While Caleb doesn't mind needles, he's on a mission to win the fight.
"We went to the representatives and senators [in Congress] to ask them to continue supporting the Special Diabetes Program, which is looking for a cure for diabetes."
Caleb was selected as a delegate for JDRF's Children's Congress. More than 160 young diabetics gathered at the Nation's Capital to be the face and voice of diabetes.
"He was very well spoken and just so polished for a twelve year old. I was very proud of him, and I'm always proud of him because he handles this with such grace and so much strength," said Renae Perry, talking about her son.
Renae watched Caleb stand up for diabetes research in Washington D.C., just as she's watched him take charge of the disease for six years.
"I hope that by the time I'm fully grown and my father's age, there will not be diabetes anymore, that there will be a cure," said Caleb.
For more information on Type I Diabetes, check out JDRF's website.