I had an awesome, cool and amazing dad named Mickey who gave me the gifts of unconditional love, an odd sense of humor and an endless supply of label makers. As a result, I have been able to live a joyful and happy life minus the frustration of trying to figure out what's in the boxes on the top shelf of my closet.
My dad and I bonded in many ways over the years including sharing the experience of being a diabetic. I was 17 and entering my senior year in high school when I was diagnosed. My dad was 70 when he began taking pills to control his adult- onset diabetes. Eventually, he joined me in the daily routine of insulin injections and monitoring blood sugars.
As was the rule for dealing with challenges in his life, my father never complained or looked for sympathy. He hunkered down, took full responsibility for controling the disease and kept meticulous records of his daily blood sugars. His skill using a label maker meant there was never a carb counting mystery in the kitchen when mom made cookies or sponge cake.
When dad died last year, he left behind so much love, joy and energy that none of us in the family could sit still. We decided to march forward and honor his life and my parents long time participation in Chicago's "Ron Santo JDRF Walk for a Cure". We named our team "Marching for Mickey". Last year, our family raised $4,000. We're marching again this year with a goal of $5,000.
On May 21st, I'll turn 50 and don't want or need any gifts. My heart and my multiple outlet strips are full (wow,even Mickey is groaning). A gift to JDRF and our "Marching for Mickey" team would be a much appreciated way to say "Happy Birthday" and support our efforts to finally find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.
Love and thanks to all!
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