Our t-shirts, silently shouting “Bailey’s Buddies!”, were courtesy of the artistry of Jake’s six year old hand. A bright electric green, we stood out among the thousands of walkers on the National Mall.
Just before the start of the walk, a voice asks from behind me, “Excuse me, are you Kerri?”
I turned around and had the pleasure of meeting Kevin (you know him from the comments sections of the blogs!), his beautiful wife and their little dog.
“Hi! I’m Kevin! I recognized you and Chris from the blog.”
It startles me every time how strong this community is, even when we mostly haven’t met one another in person. Someone I’ve never met before comes up to me, recognizes me from the blog, and I’m so happy to see them because I know them from their comments. Meeting Kevin – who is very cool, with a fantastic beard and an easy smile – reinforced why I blog in the first place: to make sure that we’re not alone with this disease. Not for a second.
About 30 people strong, the Bailey’s Buddy Team walked proudly away from the Capitol Building, towards the Washington Monument. Jake spent the first few minutes of the walk giving Chris and I a version of a tour. The dialog went as follows:
“Kerri, I want to introduce you.”
Me, wondering who a six year old wants me to meet, replied, “Sure thing, Jake.”
“I’d like you to meet (with a flourish of his little hands) The Capitol!”
A bit later, as the Washington Monument came into view, Jake tugged my sleeve again.
“Kerri, I have something else I want you to meet! Meet … the Washington Monument!”
I tried not to giggle out loud, so instead I grabbed Chris’s arm and said, “Hey Chris! Have you met the Washington Monument! Jake would be more than happy to introduce you.”
Jake trotted off to show the status of his pedometer progress to his mother, as she pushed a sleepy Bailey along in the stroller.
Chris and I walked on with pride, stopping to talk to Kevin, having the pleasure of meeting Megan (who worked for the D.C. JDRF) and her husband, and the countless other walkers who were there to support Bailey and her family. Such a caring, enthusiastic group, coming together to support the search for a cure for Bailey. For me.
For all of us.
And I look forward to the day when I can tug at someone’s sleeve and introduce them to a building.
“I’d like you to meet … the Joslin Diabetes Clinic! I used to have to go there.
But I don’t have to anymore.”