Monday, March 11, 2013

A New Honor - JDRF Family Team Walk Co-Chair Announcement

A few months ago, one of my dearest friends and fellow type 1 diabetes mom, Sheila, and myself were approached about the possibility of hosting the annual JDRF Walk to Cure Type 1 Diabetes.  Our position would be the JDRF Family Team Walk Co-Chairs.

My response was to sit in stunned silence with my mouth gaping.  Yeah, not really a "pretty" moment - just glad that the question wasn't accompanied by a photo session!


Sure my dear friend was a great fit.  She is that kind of mom that is a wonderful combination of kindness and knowledge.  Plus she is amazing at fundraising and hosts these fun scrapbook events - ALL YEAR LONG.  She tirelessly works for not only her two little boys, but for all of our children living with type 1 diabetes.  I adore her entire family and often, text her randomly just to lean on her shoulder.  Yes, I would ask her too!


But me?

What have I really accomplished?

Many days, I feel like I am doing my best if I can get the girls out the door with enough insulin in their pumps.  Or heck, if we remember to charge the battery on their CGM before it shuts down.  Our walk team isn't the powerhouse of raising money although I do feel much like the little engine that could and we do try hard.  And knowledgeable?  I am STILL learning... even six and half years later.  Once in a while, I even cry.  Yes.  Me.  The mom of the Naturally Sweet Sisters.

Really, I am still a work in progress.  I can't deny it.

So after a few minutes, I realized my mouth was still hanging wide open but I remembered that doesn't really look so pretty, so I slowly closed it.  Then, I started to think.  And think.  And think.  I thought about it for several weeks and even after one dinner with the former JDRF Family Team Walk Chair (And yes!  The former friend did on her OWN and was FABULOUS!).  I thought a lot because, ultimately, I didn't want to let JDRF or all the other wonderful families - including my own - down. 

My daughters were the ones to convince me.  Although they didn't really know what was going on - because I feel often that children shouldn't know until decisions are made - I overheard them discussing a recent infusion set change.  It had hurt their bodies and they both were unhappy.

The thing is that while I most certainly not perfect, this situation of living with type 1 diabetes can be frustrating, confusing, painful and depressing.  The only way that any of this will ever get better is through better technology and ultimately a cure.

I have a responsibility to be a part of that process too.  In fact, we all do. 

I want to one day look at my girls and have them understand that I did everything that I could to help make a difference in their lives.  Sure, it may not even be close to perfection, but I tried.  I did the best that I could. 

Finally, I had one last thought. 


And with that moment of clarity, I jumped in with a huge GRIN and a big YES!

Because here is the deal; maybe I am not a powerhouse of fundraising and maybe some days my only victory is teaching the girls how to put on an infusion set themselves, but that's what makes me REAL.  I'd like to think that a lot of us parents are doing just that... the very best that we can.

My job will be to encourage, welcome and represent all of the families that make up that same demographic.  Sure, we aren't perfect, but we are all deeply committed to keeping 'kids first,diabetes second' and ultimately helping research get to a cure. 

So I invite all of you to come out to Dexter, Michigan on September 29th, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. to represent all of our wonderful children and adults that are living with type 1 diabetes.

You can even sign up to make your own team or join ours:  The Naturally Sweet Sisters. 

All of us together CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE - Just jump in with a huge GRIN and say YES!

List of 2013 SE Michigan and Ohio JDRF Walk to Cure Type 1 Diabetes:

Each year, more than 500,000 people “walk for a cure” at 200 JDRF locations worldwide. Funds are raised by individual and team walkers obtaining donations from family and friends, corporate sponsorship and the sale of JDRF paper sneakers at retail outlets. Last year, JDRF’s Walk program raised $85 million worldwide to support diabetes research and research education.
2013 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Walk dates and locations will be announced soon:

East Lansing
Saturday, August 3, 2013
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
For more information, contact Deb Wallace at 248-355-1133 or

Saturday, September 21, 2013
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Ottawa Park, Toledo, Ohio
For more information, contact Lori Lamb at 419-481-8223 or
Ann Arbor / Dexter
Sunday, September 29, 2013
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Hudson Mills Metropark, Dexter, Michigan 
For more information, contact Deb Wallace at 248-355-1133 or

Warren / Metro Detroit
Sunday, September 29, 2013
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
General Motors Technical Center, Warren, Michigan
For more information, contact Deb Wallace at 248-355-1133 or
Bay City
Sunday, October 6, 2013
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Veteran’s Memorial Park, Bay City, Michigan
For more information, contact Kathy MacBride at 989.529.1951 or
Other Walks in Michigan
Kalamazoo, Saturday, August 17, 2013
Traverse City, Saturday, September 7, 2013
Grand Rapids, Saturday, September 14, 2013
Jackson, Saturday, September 14, 2013
For more information about these Walk sites, contact the Michigan Great Lakes West Chapter at 616-957-1838.


Marjorie said...

A big pat on the back to you!
Personally I can attest to how you have helped me tremendously over the past month.
Keep up the great work

Karen W said...

I think what sets you apart is not only your lack of a "woe me" attitude but also your efforts to educate those of us around you who aren't in the demographic. I remember back at the beginning of this journey to the simple things such as sending that list through the preschool of snacks that would be OK for everyone and the fact that, based on something you said, we always get an ice cream cake for Christina's birthday because it was something that Livy could have the first time we did a party. I just do it now because I am mindful of including all kids. I like to think that I am more likely to consider ways to change simple things, whether it's in what I encourage to be served at school, or ways to serve it, or just in not making a big deal over a kid's needs that may be different than my own kid's. Knowing you it's helped me be more mindful of others and less self-involved. Based on the information you have imparted I also know how truly important this cause is - I think it's been silent and "NIMBY" for too long and awareness needs to be raised. That's why you will make a great chair!

Scott K. Johnson said...

Nice! You'll be awesome!

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

Thanks friends!!!

Your comments sure made me smile. Thanks for being so kind and I hope that I can continue to help speak for stepping us closer to a cure, or until then, living life fully with t1d. :)