“Even now I can hear that ghostly whisper from 48 years ago. The doctor’s voice, ‘Mrs. Greenspon, your son has diabetes.'” – Roz Greenspon, Charlotte, NC
He was talking about Keith, 8 years old, the oldest of our 3 children. “But,” the doctor added as he exited the room, “Don’t worry. He’ll take insulin – he’ll be fine.” I stood there, in shock, speaking aloud, to no one in particular, “What is it? How do you spell it? How do we fix it?” I cried.
Fine? How could daily injections ever be fine? Our normal family life disappeared under an avalanche of test tubes for urine sugar testing, injections using syringes with fat needles painfully shooting thick U40 insulin made from pig islets, and overwhelming feelings of anger, hopelessness, and fear. No one offered us support. We were alone. It was the dark ages of living with diabetes. I cried – a lot. That was June 1972.
Then in 1973, “The Universe” came to our rescue. I learned about a new group called the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (now JDRF). There were only four chapters in the entire country, all run by volunteers. The members were just like us, wanting a cure for their children with juvenile diabetes.
JDRF was offering hope, passion, and determination – a better life for our children. I felt the fire rise up in my bones.
“Enough of this crying, Roz. Get up and Do Something!” I told myself.
In one year, with true JDRF passion, our Charlotte Chapter was founded with seven families. I “volunteered” to be the president. The rest of the story is now history. Our pipe dreams of better daily treatments are becoming realities daily. Cures are close to fruition.
I was 32 years old when my passions to find the cure were first ignited. This year I turned 80. How do we keep those pipe dreams alive? How do we ensure that JDRF’s determined work will continue to be well-funded when we are no longer around?
I have included JDRF as one of the beneficiaries in my estate plan. Through estate legacy planning, you too can ensure JDRF’s work continues until cures are found.
Keeping the hope alive for my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will keep me smiling…long after I’m gone.
Testimonial written by Roz Greenspon, BETA Society Member and JDRF Charlotte Chapter Founder