--If we send you a packet, can we count on your donation of ten dollars or more?
--No, I'm sorry, but we've been giving a lot of money to another charity lately.
--Yes, ma'am, we understand that there are many worthy charities asking for your contribution. By giving to us, however, you will help thousands of children struggling with X disease. Can they count on you for your support?
At this juncture, during recent calls I find myself telling the telemarketer that surely their cause is worthwhile, as is mine, but that funds are limited. Sometimes I even explain that my son has the disease I'm raising money for. One woman said sorry; another hung up.
Knowing how often these calls come, I thank everyone who has followed our journey toward this very week, to the JDRF ride in Wisconsin, for your money, your prayers, your lending of bikes and bike racks, and your ears. Type 1 diabetes is one of those under the radar diseases, in a sense, as no one really knows about it unless they've had a direct connection with someone diagnosed. Even then, you really have no idea until you live with it. We can be annoying, us T1Ders, if we start listing out the daily regimen of math and woe. But we only want you to understand. Why we want a cure.
We raised over $6000 for the Ride to Cure Diabetes. 80% of all money raised goes directly to research. You can track some of how that happened here on the blog, or talk to us some time.
You can see some of the publicity we garnered online--a nice article in a small local paper; one on Fox17's site; and if you didn't catch the awesome television news clip on that article, see it here.
Theo was diagnosed three years ago last week; after doing research for an essay contest on life 100 years ago, we now know we can be grateful it hadn't been much earlier. Theo's essay didn't win any prizes, but I think he captures the close-to-home reality that unfortunately is based on truth. For more on the making of this essay and my take, see a previous blog post.
By Theo Scheer
Every word the doctor said was blocked out by my thinking. This doesn’t mean I was thinking a lot. In fact, the only words that passed through my mind were, “No. This can’t be happening. No.”
The thing that caused me to be here was stupid Diabetes. “Well, what will it be, Theo? The potato therapy, the rice cure, or the oat cure?” the doctor said. They were all funny names, but I didn’t feel like laughing. “Well?” said the doctor who was getting impatient with my silence. “Oat c-c-cure,” I slowly said. “Alright Theo, this is what we’re gonna do. Every two hours I’ll come with a plate of eight ounces of oatmeal and eight ounces of butter. And you’ll eat it, of course.”
I was too stunned to speak. That’s a lot of oatmeal and butter. And I don’t even like oatmeal that much. I wish I could punch Diabetes in the face. I wish I could be back home, lying on the sofa, eating cracker jacks. I wish the percentage of me dying was a little lower.
“We’ll be right back,” said my mom, grabbing the doctor by the shirtsleeve. My mom rushed down the hallway. She suddenly stopped in the middle of the hallway and fiercely let the doctor’s sleeve go.
“Oatmeal? OATMEAL??? EIGHT OUNCES OF OATMEAL AND EIGHT OUNCES OF BUTTER? YOU ACTUALLY THINK THAT THAT WILL CURE MY SON’S DISEASE? Sir, I am no doctor, and I am almost certain that will not actually help Diabetes.”
The doctor no longer looked afraid. He straightened his back and said, “Ma’am, repeat what you said a few seconds earlier.”
“It will not actually help Diabetes?” she asked.
“Before that,” the doctor replied.
“I am no doctor?” she tried.
“Exactly. You are no doctor. You are just a plain country girl,” the doctor said, prancing around the hallway. “And I would never expect better science from someone like you.”
The doctor turned his head back to my mother only to see he was just staring at a wall. She was gone.
The click clack, click clack of the horse-drawn carriage was the only noise I’d heard since my mother dragged me out of the doctor’s office. “I’ll show these weirdoes what a plain ‘country girl’ can do. If someone’s gonna find a cure for my son, it’s gonna be me.”
Once we got into our home, the doorbell rang. My mom opened it, expecting a salesman. But it was no salesman. It wasn’t a person at all.
It was a huge bowl filled with oatmeal and butter.