Friday, August 3, 2012

Planting a Seed of Hope (or How It Feels To Fundraise)

Initials, Inc.

On Wednesday, we had our annual fundraiser for type 1 diabetes - which I think I can say annual as this is the second year in a row that our dear friend Kari Fitzgerald of Initials, Inc. has graciously offered to donate her entire party profit back to JDRF and our Naturally Sweet Sisters walk team.

It went fabulously.

Family, friends and neighbors arrived not just to shop for beautiful purses and home accessories, but to be part of something bigger.

That bigger thing called, A CURE FOR TYPE 1 DIABETES.

For me, this might have actually been the most emotional of all years.  After all, we have almost reached that epic six year mark.  Six years is a long time.  As I started planning for the party, it made me wonder 'who would want to continue to support us'?

'And would Kari, busy with her own family and business, even be willing to support our goal of helping to find that elusive cure?'

It all seemed so needy.

After all, our girls look happy and well adjusted.  They are active and busy doing all of the things that kids their age love to do.  Our family motto of kids first, diabetes second helps to remind us that anything is possible... with a little extra planning, a cell phone, some fast acting carbs and a meter!

Then, one night not so long ago, my youngest daughter woke up, immediately went to the sink to put her head to the faucet and to start drinking water.  Hearing the commotion on the baby monitor, I woke up and checked her only to realize that the blood sugar number on the pump had skyrocketed in just four short hours past bedtime.  With no basal insulin getting through the site, I had to do an emergency infusion set change with a correction dose of insulin and remain awake for the rest of the night, vigilantly watching for signs of blood sugar safely coming down, but not too far down.

At that moment, I realized that no matter how well our kids seem to be doing, this is not the way that anyone should live. 

And after a tear or two, I got mad. 

Madder and more angry than I have been in a long time.  I did something that I rarely ever do and I started talking about to the rest of the world that does not live with type 1 diabetes.  Putting all of my fears aside that my friends (sometimes I lovingly call them my regular friends) wouldn't think I was over exaggerating the truth of what living with type 1 diabetes is all about.

Because the truth is, type 1 diabetes is hard.  The worst is that fear of the unknown of living with type 1 diabetes is even worse.  My terror level orange never quite goes away.  I am tense and on guard even when I am not. 

And what's more is that doesn't even begin to describe what it does behind those beautiful smiles of my girls.  Type 1 diabetes is an invisible disease, doing destruction without anyone noticing.  It is easy to overlook and to assume that nothing could possibly going on when someone looks so healthy.

My friends, including Kari, listened.  On Wednesday, they showed up in response, not just for the bags or home items (which are unbelievably cute) but for us; our family.  To show support and to let us know that even after six years, no one has forgotten that insulin is only life support; not a cure.

On Wednesday, that seed of hope that I planted so long ago, grew another steadfast root in my heart and the heart of all of the families living with type 1 diabetes. 

It didn't make me feel needy.  It made me feel determined.  We (our family, our friends and our neighbors) will NEVER give up until a cure is found.

Thank you for supporting Naturally Sweet Sisters and JDRF.

And if you want to place a secure online order through 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 4th, the Naturally Sweet Sisters party will be in full swing.  25% of each item ordered goes directly to JDRF which makes it 100% of the proceeds.  I take no offers, hostess gifts or anything else to support this endeavor.  If you would like to have a party of your own, Kari can help and will also donate another $25.00 of each booked party directly to JDRF.   Contact her at 734-308-6701 or  Thank you for your support!

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