Let me tell you about the
night I learned about this ride.
I dragged the kids to a local running shop, on a school night,
to attend a meeting run by JDRF. The idea was my husband, Greg, would run a
marathon and raise money for the organization. I had an inkling I might want to
ride, too; my family jokes that I only take up sports beginning with B (bench pressing,
The enthusiasm in the room was infectious, so much so that when
we were leaving and I asked the kids what they thought, Simon, age 12, said,
"I want to do it."
Let's back up for a minute. This is a kid who reads books. A lot
of books. He draws comics, too, and cracks a lot of jokes. But sweating, my
friend, he does not do. No sports, no physical activity of his own accord. The
kids is barely passing PE. And yet he wanted to ride.
I didn't want to spoil the moment, so I just nodded my head. The
next day he asked if we would do it. Airfare, fundraising, went swirling in my
head. I said I wasn't sure. Over the next week, I convinced myself that his
reasons couldn't be genuine; this is a kid who chose to play the bass in
orchestra only when he learned it came with a stool on which to rest. I was
sure he wanted to do the ride because someone had mentioned all the food that's
offered. He's 12; that would matter.
But when I asked him later to tell me what made him want to do
this, he said, "It sounds like fun. And, well, it's for diabetes."
Decision made: we would ride. (Greg will still run a marathon, but we felt that
two of us fundraising is enough.)
I am doing this for both of my sons, then: for Simon, who is
willing to break out of his very comfortable comfort zone and train and bike 30
miles through Wisconsin with his mom and for his brother; and for Theo,
age 9, who will have type 1 diabetes until a cure is found.
When we walked into the meeting, the director was in the middle
of saying how close reserarchers are to finding a cure and better treatments.
The technology has come so far in the past decade, from pumps to continuous
glucose montiors to combos of the two.
All they need is money. There are lots of great causes out there
but this one, this one can take your donation through the smooth and rough
terrain, and over the finish line.
Diabetes is a manageable illness, but it's a major illness. All
day, every day, we work in its service to keep Theo healthy and safe. We pray
we keep our heads when it comes to getting the math and shots right, because
we're the ones who prescribe, change, and administer doses. We educate everyone
who comes in his path. We bite our tongues over misconceptions. We cry when
mistakes happen. We cry when, by the grace of God and parental intution, we
catch a mistake that could have been life-threatening.
Simon and I each have to raise at least $3K to fulfill our
commitment. Your money is so important to this. Our ride is symbolic of our
faith in these researchers, our dream of a cure, and our love for Theo.
--------- That's where the story ends on my fundraising page. But let me keep going here. Signing on to do this ride has opened my eyes so much, even in just the past couple of days. There's a whole community of folks who diligently fundraise and ride each year, leaning on their belief that this money will indeed make a difference. There are people dedicated to riding each year until there's a cure. Parents who ride in honor of their diabetic children. Parents who ride because they've lost their child to this disease. It's hard to take. Today I read a blog post by a mom who was upset at the sympathy given to her T1 daughter. Yeah, sometimes it's too much. But you know what? This deserves some sympathy. It's a tough disease, and any caring person will acknowledge that. I have no qualms playing on your sympathies here. None with stirring your heart strings with the story of a brother riding for his brother. Because this is not manipulation. This is real life. We have to raise a combined total of $6000. Please give at Simon's page or mine.