A letter from the 2022 JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala Fund A Cure Family: The Kaplan Family
One normal day, a little more than five years ago, I received a call at work: “Emergency Room, now!” For several weeks prior, our oldest child, Rex, had been exhibiting symptoms – weight loss, insatiable thirst, and fatigue – and we knew that something wasn’t right. On that same call, my wife, Nicki, shared that Rex’s blood glucose level was topping 700 – a life-threatening level requiring immediate hospitalization.
Fifteen minutes later, arriving at Lurie Children’s Hospital, I saw Nicki and Rex standing outside the front doors, pacing the sidewalk. I didn’t understand what they were waiting for. But Rex did. Somehow, he knew that once we walked through those doors, nothing would ever be the same. And he was right. We were on the edge of a world with complicated vocabulary and math; dominated by never-ending needles, finger pokes, and dosing of life-saving medications. A world that no longer made sense to our then-six-year-old son.
For so many people who face serious health challenges, there is a dark and difficult world on the other side of such doors. But for every brave family who walks away with a type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosis, JDRF is waiting there to help. JDRF provided us with all the critical forms of care and community we needed to keep moving forward as we found a manageable quality of life for Rex and our family.
Today, Rex is a joyful, thriving, 11-year-old, and his prospects for continuing a healthy, adventurous, productive life ahead shine brightly. Yet, none of that would be remotely possible without the relationships and resources we’ve drawn from JDRF. And while we have made progress in how we manage this disease, there is still so much more work to be done.
That is why it’s such a special honor to serve as the Fund A Cure Family at this year’s JDRF Illinois One Dream Gala where the community will come together to raise $15,000,000. Your gift directly supports research for those impacted by T1D and the countless daily struggles that accompany this disease. We are humbly asking you to donate to Fund A Cure today. Your support will bring us closer to cures.
From our family, thank you,