When Leah was diagnosed with Type1, I knew right away we'd participate in a walk event. I have friends and family whose lives have been affected by diabetes as well, and knew many who already participated in the Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes through JDRF. We formed our own team, which Leah named "Leah's Diabetes Team" (catchy, huh?) and we've had an amazing turnout for two years in a row. I'm so humbled by the contributions our friends and family have made. (Both monetary, and with their time and support).
Last week, "Leah's Diabetes Team" received the Golden Sneaker Award in the mail....which means we raised over $2500! Leah has the plaque proudly displayed in her room.
I'm also planning on attending our local ADA Kiss a Pig fundraiser with some other D-moms. The ADA sponsors the day camp Leah has gone to for two years now, and they do a tremendous amount of advocacy for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics.
It's exciting that there's so much research, development of technology, and fun activities available to raise awareness and money for something so dear to our hearts. But I will admit these events always bring on mixed emotions for me.
Trust me, I am eternally grateful for the support Leah has received. The JDRF walk is such a positive event, and it's important for her to see the support and contributions we're making. We'll have a great time at the bowling event as well. It's just that these things tend to slap you in the face and say "Hey! Here's a big fat reminder of that really crappy disease your kid has!" We have reminders of it constantly, so sometimes another one is just too much, when you don't even WANT to be dealing with this in your life anyway.
And despite how negative this may sound, I don't really believe a cure will be found anytime soon. I'm just not going to set myself or Leah up for that kind of heartbreak.
However, we'll get past the negativity and bad attitude this disease can bring on, and keep walking, running, bowling or whatever else it takes to raise money and awareness. There's a lot of debate as to which organization is "better" to support. One that focuses solely on a cure (such as Denise Faustman), versus ones that focus on advocacy or research for advanced treatments (such as the new "vision" of JDRF). I feel we can't walk around hoping for a cure and in the meantime not improve daily life. Therefore, I will continue to support a variety of organizations, because even the small advancements in diabetes make huge differences.
Most importantly, we'll make sure Leah knows how much work is being done in the fight against diabetes, and how grateful we are that those close to us care enough to help us support those causes. And in the meantime we'll continue to learn and fight diabetes in our own daily lives.
I'm glad she's proud of her Golden Sneaker Award. Her positive little 6 year old mind helps me keep a glimmer of hope in the back of my brain.