Sunday 3 June 2012

2012 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes ~ Part 1

Since 2006, our family has participated in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Vancouver every year. We fundraise, we wear team shirts, and we walk proudly on this special day. It's a day when everyone affected by diabetes; be it type 1, type 2, LADA, or type 3; can unite for a common purpose: to spread awareness and help raise funds for research.

This year, however, we've been busier than usual. Life has gotten in the way of our regular preparation for the walk. I didn't do any major fundraising this year - no pub night, no team barbeque, no school coin drive. I really only started asking our regular donors for their support this weekend. If I'm really honest with myself, I know it's not that I have been too busy, because if I really wanted to make it happen this year, I would have found the time. I just didn't want to do it. After years of going full throttle on the fundraising, I'm burnt out. I need a break. So we've toned it way down and are doing minimal fundraising this year. Dylan has set a personal goal to raise $1000, but that's it for us this year.

A part of me reads that previous paragraph and is ashamed of myself. How dare I feel like I need a break? What right do I have to feel burned out? What about Dylan? He's lived with diabetes every minute of every day since November 21st, 2005. Six and half years of finger pokes, injections, site changes, carb counting, basal adjustments, and me constantly asking how he's feeling and what his last bg reading was. Over 2370 days; more than half of his lifetime. And he doesn't complain, ask for a year off, or feel burned out. He keeps plugging along, making the most out of his disease, by owning it and never letting it stand in his way. He is a better person than I am, that's for sure. A much better person.

The JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes is one of Dylan's favorite days of the year. Why? Because it's the only day of the year that he feels completely normal. Having diabetes doesn't make him stand out on walk day. He can whip out his meter, plop down on the grass in the middle of a crowd to do a quick bg check, and no one even bats an eye. He can pull out of his pump to bolus for his lunch and no one does a double-take. No one asks how he got diabetes, or gives us suggestions on how to "cure" it, or eliminate his need for insulin. In fact, no one talks about diabetes at all. The walk is about celebrating life DESPITE diabetes. It's about sharing experiences and stories with others. And it's about realizing the we are not alone in this battle. There is a huge and wonderful community of people who are going through exactly the same thing we are. People who understand the daily struggles, the highs and lows, and the overwhelming feelings. People who get it.

So if you want to join us on walk day, we will be walking in Stanley Park, on Sunday, June 10th, at 11:00am. Or should you wish to make a contribution to JDRF and help Dylan meet his fundraising goal, click the badge in the top left corner of this site, or click here. Thank you in advance for your support.

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