This November will mark the 11-year anniversary of the day that changed everything for my daughter, Rebecca. The following is a short story that she has written about her life as a Type I diabetic. After reading it, I would ask that you consider a donation to Team BECCA for the 2013 Walk for a Cure. Thank you.
Suddenly my days and my thoughts were full of needles and finger pokes, insulin and counting carbs. I would wake up in the middle of the night sweating, knowing that it meant my blood sugar was low. No longer could I go get ice cream on a whim with my friends. It had to be planned. So did all of my meals and snacks and exercise. There were lots of new rules to follow.
Within a few weeks everything started to weigh less in my mind. It became habit. I developed a routine. Wake up late, shower, test my blood sugar, give myself the first shot of the day and run out the door as my mom handed me breakfast. Carefully looking up the grams of carbohydrates in each meal that I consumed, I quickly gained the skill of estimating my intake. Estimate too high and that meant shaking and excessive giggling. Estimate too low and hours later I would be sluggish and exhausted. It is a balancing act, a refined science. If carb estimating was an Olympic sport, after my ten years of training, I would be on the podium.
But it was more than just the poking and counting that changed the day of my diagnosis. I looked at things much differently. I, along with my family and friends, became involved with JDRF, volunteering and raising money for research. Then, as I went to college and finished my degree, I decided that it was not enough. We were all working hard to help fund the cure but I wanted to do more. I wanted to help find the cure. My career path changed and I am now working towards using the support from JDRF to make the prospect of a cure a reality. Sometimes I think it is selfish, working for something that will benefit me. But then I remind myself that it is passion and dedication. Besides, once we find the cure I can continue to work on cancer or HIV or MS research, because with the advances in diabetes research already being made, I will live a very long life . . . with both of my feet.
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