Sunday, October 10, 2010

The diabetes family

Over the last two weekends, I was involved in an outdoor craft event.  Since I was unable to attend the walk because of this event (my largest one of the whole year), I decided that I would take donations.  My eight year old and I are signed up as virtual walkers and we've been having fun collecting donations from friends and family.  Now was my chance to reach out to the general public.

At first I was a little shy about asking complete strangers to donate to a cause that has touched way too close to home.  I almost came across as apologetic.  Luckily I came to my senses after talking to a few people who either have diabetes or have it in their family.  Both Type 1s and Type 2s came to my table.  Family members.  Friends.  Those that just knew how terrible it could be.  They helped to light a spark in me.  A spark that fueled my mission.  My mission to help find a cure.

During our short time together we made a connection, a common bond.  We were part of this community, this family, that no one really wanted to join.  But here we are, all effected by this disease in one way or another.  I met a man diagnosed with Type 1 at 42 years old.  I met a young girl who had family members with Type 2.  Most of them didn't ask the question "Why me?"  Yes, there was one woman who, understandably, wondered if it was really fair that she became diabetic.  She was probably in her late 40's, slender build, but yet had Type 2 that required insulin injections.  She wondered how it was fair.  I wasn't sure what to tell her, so I just listened.  No, it's not fair, but here we are in this family of diabetics. 

Previously I've explored the question of "Why me?"  Why do I have diabetes?  I know for a fact that it is know one's fault.  It's not my fault, it's not my parents' fault, my grandparents', etc.  However, I do believe that in every situation, God has a plan.  I know that He has given me a path that will help me meet some terrific people as we work to raise awareness and find a cure.  Not one of those Type 1s thought anything less of me because I am a diet/exercise controlled Type 2.  We are diabetics and that's that.  Some have a protesting pancreas, others have stubborn cells that don't want to play nice with the insulin.  No one wants to be a member of this family, this diabetes family.  But if I have to be here, I'm glad I've got some awesome relatives!

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