Saturday, March 8, 2008

Jesse - the diagnosis anniversary


A 3 year old boy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. For days before he was incredibly thirsty. He was lethargic. He would walk up the stairs and ask me to carry him. I knew something was wrong. On a Friday evening at dinner time, he ate spaghetti and begged for 3 glasses of milk. And fell asleep on the couch. I threw him in the car and drove to the emergency room. I'm not a religious person. But I guess I was praying. I was thinking, "Please. Please, do not let it be diabetes." And I had a sudden thought. No, WAIT. Please don't let it be cancer, or something that will take him away from us. Diabetes, we could live with. Diabetes, we would overcome. Diabetes, wouldn't take over our lives and destroy it.

It's a familiar story I would imagine to many who take the time to read my blog. I've said many times over the years, something that just easily comes to mind for me, "Sometimes the path in life leads to darkness...but sometimes that darkness is our friend." What does it all mean?

It means, I have met the most incredible people because my little boy was diagnosed exactly 8 years ago. It changed my life in positive ways. The road has taken me to Washington, DC to stand before Senate hearings, talk to important people who make decisions about research, steer others on my same path. It has lead me to the best career on the face of the earth as the Executive Director of the Western Wisconsin Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I have seen people rally around me in support. And personally, it got me on a road bike, it got me to participate in Ironman, and today, it has put me on the Triabetes path to film a documentary about amazing Type 1 athletes.

Today I signed Jesse up to take a 3 day canoeing trip with other type 1 kids through and Wilderness Inquiry. He didn't want to sign up at first because it's scary. But he met the guides today and changed his mind. When the guides asked him why he wanted to do it, he said, "Because I want to support my mom on her Ironman."

Huh. Aren't I on this path to support him? I guess we support one another, eh?

Not a Happy Anniversary, but a day to reflect, at the very least. Thanks for listening

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