I’ve had Type 1 diabetes for exactly one year, 6 months, and 4 days; that’s 553 days in all. In those 553 days, I’ve risen to the challenge of living with an auto-immune disease. Not only has my physical health and shape improved (although, not without a lot of struggling, tears, frustration, and work), my motivation to take care of myself, both inside and out has increased, my capability of leaning on family and friends for support has increased, and many blessings such as other great diabetic friends and a great job have been reaped as a result. All in all, I’d say that if anyone had to get diabetes, it’s me… right?
You probably know it, but diabetes can be a devastating disease. It’s the fastest growing disease in America, the 6th leading cause of death in America, and can lead to nerve damage, amputated feet, blindness, heart failure, and kidney failure. That is, if it’s not taken care of. The American Diabetes Association, as well as numerous other organizations are committed to finding a cure for this disease that afflicts nearly 24 million Americans and will afflict 1 in 3 children born today.
Last year, I formed Team Mari and we walked in the ADA’s Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes. We surpassed our goal and raised over $2,000, but what impacted me the most was the support I felt from my family and friend that walked with me. It wasn’t my priority to raise support last year because I just wanted the experience of walking for my cause. But this year, I set a fundraising goal for my team and for myself individually and have been putting myself out there trying to raise money. It’s harder than it seems! With this year’s walk less than two weeks away on September 13th, Team Mari is still in need of support and team members. Why has it been so much harder to recruit members and raise money this year? I’ve been working twice as hard as I did last year, but yielding way less results.
I can’t help but ask the question: why would I need a cure for a disease that has brought on so many positive changes to my life? I’m on an insulin pump now so I don’t have to take multiple shots per day, I’m not a little girl crying, “Mommy, please don’t prick me! I’ll be a good girl, I promise!” I’m not frail, blind, or at risk of having my feet amputated, and my kidneys and heart and running like a well oiled machine. So why do I need a cure?
I need a cure because every diabetic gets to a point where they just feel burnt out of doing the hum drum of everyday diabetes maintenance. Who’s to say that maybe down the line, I could throw in the towel and stop caring about my blood sugars. I could take on the same attitude as the young girl I wrote about months ago who let her blood sugars soar in the 400s because she just didn’t care. Then I’d be the one with the aforementioned complications and visibly in need of a cure. But ultimately, I’m not the only one who is in need. I believe in this cause because I believe that diabetes is causing pain for millions of people who live with it and the millions of people who walk alongside those with diabetes. It’s an audacious effort, but I’m worth a cure, and so is every single diabetic out there; past, present, and hopefully not the future.
Please take a moment to watch this video…and beware of goosebumps…
Then go donate to Team Mari!