On January 30, 2014, the world changed completely for my brother Mike, his wife Mandy, and their 1 1/2 year-old son, Evan. After being sick with the flu, Evan's condition deteriorated, and he was rushed to the Emergency Room late Thursday night. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
A few Christmases ago, as we finished opening our presents, Mike and Mandy passed around some Christmas cards. We wondered what they were, as the gifts and cards had all been exchanged. Inside the card was written, "I can't wait to meet you! Love, Baby Panikowski :) ". I looked up and will never forget the look on my brother's face. It was one of pride, excitement, anticipation, and love.
Evan's birth brought even more joy, and the daily toothless smiles and funny faces were sheer delight. The simple joys of a child, such as laughing hysterically at the family dog barking, and the traditional "cake-on-the-face" photo at his 1st birthday party, are treasured memories.
It is stifling how everything can change in a matter of moments. Their lives are now defined, and will be defined, by this terrible, life-altering disease, until there is a cure. He will require numerous shots of insulin per day, as well as many fingersticks for blood glucose monitoring. And his life depends on it.
I’m taking part in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes, along with hundreds of riders from around the world, to raise money for JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.
Every dollar I raise helps JDRF continue to bring life-changing therapies from the lab to the community until a cure is found.
I have been hard at work training and fundraising, and your gift today will propel me toward the finish line. Please donate and help JDRF achieve its goal of a world without T1D.
Thank you for your support. Together, we can turn Type 1 into Type None!
This is for you, Evan! :)
Love forever and ever,
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