It’s my kid – my grown-up daughter Julia – who drives my desire for a cure for type 1 diabetes. I want to cure T1D because it’s in her way – in the way of uninterrupted nights of sleep if she gets low, in the way of those “straight lines” we love – to the movies without worrying about highs or lows, on an eight-mile training run through the coast range, in the decision about whether to buy the form-fitting sheath dress or tight jeans without pockets that pose challenges for her pump, and in the constant hassle about health coverage.
I don’t think about T1D too much unless I’m watching Julia use a big needle to insert her insulin pump’s cannula at a new location on her tummy, or when I rant about health care access to a startled fellow swimmer in the Civic Center pool’s locker room. Julia has undergraduate and graduate degrees, she’s worked in Spain and at diabetes camps, taught university writing classes, written grants for academic journals, produced stories for local radio stations and did I mention her three half-marathons, numerous 10K runs and exuberant water ski turns?
Julia is why I gently badger my friends and family for donations to our Walk to Cure Diabetes team each year, why I like it when Eric, Claighton or Elizabeth ask me to help our JDRF chapter, and why I understand it’s not just because it’s fun to dress up and eat with friends that brings people to our annual fundraising galas.
We want to cure T1D. Julia is why I volunteer to write news releases about our chapter’s Walks that take us around the State Capitol and through Old Sacramento the first Sunday of every October. It’s why I contact the Sacramento Bee, the Davis Enterprise, the Chico Enterprise-Record, the local NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and Univision affiliates along with Capital Public Radio and all the other print and online media I can think of to let folks know about our Passports to a Cure fundraising galas. I feel like we’re making progress when we promote the golf tournament, the crab feed, the new trail run fundraiser, Eric’s school walk teams, and anything else our hardworking Northern California Inland Chapter of JDRF can come up with.
I love to be around others who share my desire to make diabetes evaporate, go “poof,” fall off the face of the earth. Research breakthroughs for a cure and the amazing progress we’ve seen in treatment and preventing T1D is thrilling.
I’ve learned a lot from this chronic disease, the most important thing being appreciating each moment.
Which is why I enjoy laughing at Julia’s wonderful dog cartoons, take such pleasure in her brilliant 100-word stories, and love cheering as she crosses the finish line of yet another big race. Dudette, we’re closing in on a cure.
Dedicated JDRF Volunteer