Today I share a very special guest post by Tiburon who writes the blog Shark Bait. Tiburon takes fundraising to the next level. I am in awe of what she is doing to raise money for the JDRF on behalf of her son Ethan and the rest of our T1 kids. After reading this guest post, how can we not help her reach her goal?
Highs and Lows
As the parent of a child with diabetes – I think we all have our highs and lows – parents and kids. There are moments as a parent where I have “highs”. We seem to go for days, even weeks with excellent control. Infusion set changes are a breeze. Even glucose checks go smoothly. How about the elation we feel when we get an A1c under 7.5? For every “high” there is a “low”. Sadly, the lows seem to be the most memorable. The sick feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when a 37 pops up on the glucometer. The anxiety that accompanies a 581 at 9:00pm – knowing that the rest of your night will involve bi-hourly sugar checks. Wondering if you will get a call from the school today because your child has passed out on the playground.
Highs and lows – as T1 parents our lives are filled with them.
My son, Ethan, was diagnosed in 2004 when he was 4 years old. The diagnosis was heartbreaking. As a parent, you try to do everything you can to help your kids and keep them safe. When the doctor said “He has diabetes” my heart ripped in two. They admitted him to the hospital and I spent the first couple of days going through the motions – I completely shut down. On the third day – as I sat in the Forever Young playroom at Primary Children’s Medical Center – I had an epiphany. It could be worse – so much worse. There were kids in that hospital that had diseases 10 times worse than diabetes. There were kids that would never walk again. Kids that may only live another year, or month, or day. There were kids with cancer and leukemia and congenital heart conditions – you name it. Ethan only had diabetes. We would learn and get control and he would be able to walk and run and play sports and get married and have kids and a fairly normal life.
I changed that day. I had something to fight for. A cause. Some direction. I went home and started doing research – I read everything I could get my hands on. We enrolled in studies. We taught him about his disease. Through our research, we found an organization to put our time and energy into. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is our charity of choice. They are the ones that are raising the money and doing the research and finding the breakthroughs that will lead to a cure. Most importantly, they focus on finding a cure for type 1 (juvenile) diabetes. Not education. Not type 2. FINDING A CURE.
Last year I took on the challenge of riding in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes. It required raising over $4,000, traveling to Sonoma, CA and riding my bicycle 100 miles. Last year was eye opening to say the least. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 12 years old so I bought a bike, learned how to ride it and began training and I even managed to exceed my fundraising goal.
I went to California scared to death – but excited for the challenge. I met amazing people and found out just how great it is to be a part of an organization like the JDRF. It was the experience of a lifetime. The ride itself was the most challenging experience of my life. Sadly, I hurt my knee and wasn’t able to do all 100 miles.
Shortly after Sonoma, Ethan got very sick and was rushed to the hospital in full Diabetic Ketoacidosis. It was extremely scary and something that I hope no parent will ever have to go through. It just reinforced the importance of finding a cure and made me more committed than ever.
I feel that 2010 is my year for redemption. It is my year to raise the most money I have ever raised. My year to finish all 109 miles in the Ride to Cure. My year to do my part to give T1 its marching orders.
On November 20, 2010, I will be riding in Tucson, Arizona. Sadly, fundraising has been difficult this year. I have a fundraising page at the Ride to Cure website but I have still not met my minimum fundraising requirement. In order to reach my minimum, I have put together a charity auction. All the items were generously donated by friends and family. The auction is up on eBay right now and runs through Monday, October 11, 2010.
As a fellow T1 parent, I am asking you for your support – not in donating or even bidding on auction items. I am simply here to ask for your help in promoting the auction on your blog or Facebook page. I am hoping to drive as much traffic as possible over to the auction site but I need your help!
Thank you so much for reading all this – and I am wishing you more highs than lows!