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What Counts.

"This is our new normal, our new way of dealing with life."Team dLife - JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes

"Diabetes is a burden we didn't bargain for..."

"These moments are beautiful because we're not alone..."

"A cure."

Snippets of conversations stuck to the wallpaper in the dining room of the country club.  Adults spoke into the microphone about the diagnosis of their loved ones, shuffling the papers in their hands to keep the tears from falling out onto them. 

It's tough to sit in a room filled with the parents of diabetic children, as a "diabetic child" myself.  I feel so close, yet so oddly removed from their lives.  We were all gathered there as part of the JDRF Walk Team Captain kick-off luncheon, bringing together our teams and banding together in efforts to raise awareness of diabetes and to soldier on towards a cure.

Parents held back tears that they seem to have forgotten they were capable of.  There was a video presentation that told the story of one mother, answering her daughter's question of "Will I have this forever?"  I wondered if I had ever asked my mother that question.

I'm captaining a JDRF walk team for dLife this fall, walking to raise awareness and money towards research for a cure.  I'm excited and honored to be leading this event for my company, proud to be a part of something so positive.

At the table next to me, two small children sat with their mom, coloring and paying scattered attention to the speakers.  I wondered which one was diabetic - the little one with the flouncy pink dress or the older girl with eyes wise beyond her years and pigtails?

I pulled my meter out of my purse and absently tested my blood sugar underneath the lip of the table, pressing my fingertip to my mouth without thinking - 152 mg/dl.  Pump retrieved from my pocket, I bolused a quick unit to correct me back down and slipped the pump back into my skirt.

I caught her looking at me, her wise eyes wide as she realized I was diabetic,  just like her. 

I smiled and gave her a quick wave.

She waved back, pigtails bouncing and smile bright.

This walk means so many different things- raising awareness and doing our best to fund research towards a cure.  Corporate sponsorships, walk t-shirts, keynote speakers, and fundraising ideas.  Walking together on a fall day with the same hope.

Next month marks 21 years with diabetes, and while technology has drastically improved how I treat my disease, it has not cured any of us.  I become more pragmatic with each test strip, each A1c result, each milestone.  I forget how to think of a future without this disease.  I forget how my parents feel sometimes. 

I forget what it's like to want a cure.

But I still remember how to hope

Comments

Kerri,

Wow 21 years with diabetes and most people just can't weight to be 21 of course for different reasons. Great job on being so upbeat and positive.

Dave

Finding other people who are going through what you're going through is important. It must have been inspiring to be around all those people who have the same feelings that you have.

Good luck on your walk!!

Hey Kerri, as you know, I'm a mom of a t1. Casey does the Philadelphia walk every year, he , I and his big brother walk as a family team. In the 3 -4 years he has walked he has raised over 10 thousand dollars. I have never been so proud. His brother is going to college in Chicago next week and will probably walk there. I think I've done ok....

I think you've done more than okay.

((hugs)),
Kerri.

How beautiful. I don't remember life before my diabetes...but I often think about how my parents must have felt, and how I would feel if there was a cure. Let's not forget how to hope. Hope is sometimes all we have.

I remember Claire's first time at diabetes camp. We were walking to check-in and she whispered to me "all of these kids are like me?". Her relief that the awareness that she and her dad really weren't the only diabetics in the world nearly broke my heart.

Kerri,
You never cease to amaze me. You write to beutifully and true. This post has made me very emotional tonight over Emma and her diabetes. I have said this before and i want to say it again...i hope that Emma can manage her life just like you have managed.
Thanks Kerri.
Chris.
ps. Thanks for the nice words regarding our "announcement" which reminds me to change my facebook picture. Good job on continualy counting the carebears.

Hi Kerri,
21 years. Your right we tend to forget about a cure. Its been 31 years for me with T1 it still seems like yesterday that I was told I had type 1 diabetes. HOPE !

You continue to touch my heart. Being recently diagnosed, I can't even imagine how difficult it is for parent & child dealing with this disease. My thoughts, prayers, and great respect for all those families affected by diabetes.

I proud to say I getting a team together for the October JDRF walk in my town. I feel better when I'm proactive, or can help in some way.

Kerri,
Beautifully stated. Thanks for the plug with the walk! Anyone in the CT area should definitely come by: if not to help find a cure, or to raise money for an important disease, then at least come just to watch me make a fool of myself by making a speech I'm grossly under-qualified to make in front of a bunch of people I don't know. Can't wait!

Adam Kaye-Advanced Radiology Consultants Team, Stamford, CT walk

I don't know, Kerri. How many times can I tell you how you're the one that made me realize Brendon will be "OK" when he's an adult.

I notice that my post says that it was posted by Chris. Sorry Chris Im not you but I'm Joanna. Hey look down here ! lol No kids just my four legged one. : )

Hi Kerri
What a terrific blog!.You captured the mood of all of us at the kick-off lunch..especially the Kayes!
I loved meeting you and am thrilled to know that my son has people like you in his life! Look forward to seeing you again
adrienne

Do you realize the positive impression you left on that little girl? She saw a grown up with diabetes and I'm sure it somewhere in her head it clicked "hey, I can do this, too. That lady has it and she looks really pretty." or something to that effect : ) Who knows what impact that brief connection will have on her perception of herself with diabetes? I like to think it will mark a turning point for her. : )

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