Dear Family and Friends,
Take a second and think about a very important question: What are you defined by?
Personally, I have always defined myself as a strong and determined person. While this may be true, I never realized what those words meant.
In February of 2010, I went with my dad to the Chesapeake City Court House and got my driver’s license. During that time, my mom had taken Parker to the Tricare health clinic to get checked out for what we believed was a stomach bug. This was a usual occurrence in our house throughout the winter. As we were on our way home from the court house, I got a call from my mom. She seemed upset and asked me to put her on speaker. I didn’t expect what I heard seconds later. My mom told us that Parker had Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. I was completely shocked. I knew what diabetes was, but none of us truly understood it.
When my dad and I got to the hospital, we walked into the room to see Parker with the IV and the nurses and hospital staff explaining the things that would be changing. He seemed content at the time drinking a diet ginger ale, however mom was
sitting in a chair still trying to understand what was happening. I could
quickly see the anguish and fear in her eyes, we all had the same look. In my head I was thinking, “ What does this mean? Can he still do sports? Will he have a normal life? Will he be able to handle this, I mean he’s 6?” All these questions and more were running through my mind. When I went over to the bed, I remained calm and collected. I smiled and asked him what he was drinking, how he was feeling, and plenty of other conversation fillers. I just remember thinking how scared he must be.
The day he came home, the crash course began. We all learned how to check his sugar, give him insulin shots, and most of all keep him upbeat and positive. In reality, he was keeping us positive. He astonished us with his quick adaptation to a life with diabetes. Within weeks it seemed like he was back to his normal self, besides meal times. He shocked us all again when a month later, he wanted to play soccer and ride dirt bikes again. It took us a while to figure out that he was strong, and that he is more than capable to handle the situation at hand.
Fortunately, Parker was eventually able to use a pump to give insulin, instead of the multiple shots per day that he had been getting. This device has really made a difference to him, as well as many other adults and children with type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately, unlike type 2, Type 1 Diabetes is either hereditary, or autoimmune, and therefore does not go away. Although there is no cure, modern medicine is the reason that Parker is still with us.
While Insulin allows a person to stay alive but it does not prevent the eventual and devastating effects of diabetes such as kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, amputations, heart attack and stroke.
However, Parker has the incredible determination and drive to live outside the restraints of diabetes. My little brother is one of the strongest people I know. It’s amazing that at such a young age, he has kept diabetes from defining him. He showed me what it really means to be strong and determined. It was through this that I realized that to let yourself be defined by your problems, whatever they may be, is to let yourself give up your livelihood. While Parker’s willpower is enormous beyond his years, he still can’t do it alone! This is why we participate in the Walk for Juvenile Diabetes every year to help Parker and kids like him keep up their strength and determination, and fight for a cure!
This year, I am asking you to stand by him once again, and show him and every other child with Type 1 Diabetes that you are there for them! By helping Parker and others with diabetes, you will be helping them define themselves without diabetes in mind! We need all of our friends and family to help find a cure for Parker and every other child and adult with diabetes. To accomplish our goal of trying to form a very large team to show our support for Parker, we are actively recruiting anyone who would like to join us on our team and raise money in support of Parker and the overall Walk to Cure Diabetes. Here’s how you can help:
* Make a generous contribution in support of Parker’s Patriots (checks made out to JDRF). You can also make an online donation by visiting: parkerspatriot5
* Come walk in support of Parker at 10am on October 19th and be an active
participant of Parker’s Patriots. All we request is that you register at the
above website, collect money from folks you know and then join us for a fun day at the Walk.
Please know that more than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.
As a proud sister, and fighter for a cure, I thank you for your consideration, and hope that you will once again support Parker!
Very truly yours, Brittany Smith
|Denotes a Team Captain|
Janice & Mark Genes
Mary M Shanley
Mr. David J Murray
Mr. Joe Godar
Mr. Tracy M Chavez
Mrs. Sharon M Paul
Reality Realty Virginia Heroes
The Cromwell Family
The Khorassani Family
The Lentini Family
The Logan Family
Tony & Becky Suchy