My older brother, Matthew, was diagnosed with the disease when he was 5 years old and has been affected by the disease for over 23 years. I never thought it was strange that my brother, who was only a couple of years older than me, would prick his finger to test his blood sugar level or inject himself with insulin. That was normal. As I sort through my many childhood memories I can't recall one where I realize how AWESOME my brother actually is. Of course, as a younger sister, all I ever wanted was to hang out with him, so badly that I considered sorting through hundreds of Lego pieces to find that exact three-pronged red piece he told me he needed a real honor. But as awesome as I thought he was as big brother I never realized what a really incredible person he is. I am inspired by his perseverance and determination. He is the strongest man I know for things that no person should have to endure. By age 6 he was not only able to but had to give himself insulin injections to keep himself alive. While other children, including myself, didn't think twice about what entered their mouth, all we cared about is that it tasted good, Matthew had to keep track of his food and then calculate the appropriate amount of insulin to give himself EVERY time he ate. As easy as it is to assume he's used to it, he does it everyday and it's not a big deal, it IS a big deal. No one should have to be "used to it" because it's not normal and it's not fair.
Very recently, Matthew had some complications with an infected blister on his right foot. Because of his diabetes his body can't fight off infections like you or me and it began to spread aggressively and quickly. He was admitted to the hospital and we very quickly learned how severe it really was. After close to 10, if not more, surgeries the surgeons were able to remove the entire infection but not without causing some damage. Luckily, after a 9-hour reconstructive surgery his foot will be fully functional again. After 6 weeks in the hospital, 3 of those in Intensive Care, he is finally home but still a long ways from being fully recovered.
I have never felt so helpless or so scared. Not only could Matthew have lost his foot we could have lost him.
So, I am asking you to help. If you could make any donation, big or small, it will go to hopefully ensuring that less people have stories like this to tell. If you would like to walk with us? The more the merrier!
My brother once took a punch in the face for me while I ran away like a little girl (in my defense, I was a little girl) so the least I can do is walk a few miles, right? He did also pick me up and throw me over his shoulder and run me around the gym at my first high school dance but I'm choosing to let that grudge go, for a good cause.
Thank you for your support.
If you think this page contains objectionable content, please inform the system administrator.