For the 41st Year Working for a Cure
So happy #41 birthday to my son, Phil Southerland. He wrote a book around 25 years old named "Not Dead Yet" in response to a doctor telling me at his diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes at 7 months of age that he would probably be dead, blind, or have renal failure at 24 years of age. He rode bike across USA with Race Across America at 25. Dead, blind, or renal failure was the outlook for persons with Type 1 Diabetes in 1982. I remember trying to get life insurance - nope. - he had a disease and that was going to be his life. The mom in me was crushed, crushed, crushed. This has not changed in 41 years! I will forever ride and ask for donations as long as I am upright!
As Phil tells me "Good Job." Good Job, Phil, to be the determined guy you are in light of all the LITERAL highs and lows of your Type 1 life. He learned at an early age he could eat a Snickers- banned in our house, but ride his bike, come home and his glucose would be fine. I found this out after he went to college. Good Job starting Team Type 1 (pictured on first bike) when all I wanted him to have was a job with health insurance because with a disease, health insurance was denied unless on corporate plan (before Affordable Health Care). He did not listen to me - good thing! He had a dream of an all pro cycling comprised of persons with Type 1 and he did it with never ending work. That was Team Type 1 which ended up to be Team Novo Nordisk which ended up to be a global team of all athletes with Type 1 Diabetes, all role models for person battling Type 1 diabetes every day. It never goes away - ever.
BUT HE STILL HAS TYPE 1 DIABETES AND MUST DEPEND ON INSULIN TO STAY ALIVE.
He never gave up, complained about what I, his mom, thinks is one of the worst diseases ever because there is no cure, and a person with Type 1 diabetes is "on call" 24X7 to blood glucose. He just "kept on keepin on" getting married to Biljana Southerlandand blessing me with three wonderful grandsons.
So for the parents who are leveled with the diagnosis, I was too. However, I was right to not listen to a doctor when my mom vibe was telling me something else. But I was wrong to think that this was the end of our world. It was not. Type 1 Diabetes in my kid gave me courage I never knew I had especially to fight with insurance, it gave my son even more courage to just deal with his f)(**(&(*^&*^ b ing shots and finger sticks everyday without complaining, ever. And then determination - there is no "control" of diabetes really - but there is the life where it does not "control" you but that takes discipline - every day discipline.
It is not easy to maintain good health, be fit, eat right (most difficult) which we should all do but especially with Type 1 Diabetes. I had the inner athlete come out in me because of the shitty disease and he became a pro cyclist. Who knew?
My son thrived, had courage, took risks and through all the highs and lows (literally) , the doctors were wrong in 1982 telling me he might not make it and he should not exercise. I was a scared but determined mother - as my Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) team members have on their jersey's "Duck Diabetes." Please help me, help millions!
And again, GOOD JOB, Phil. I love you to the moon and always will so I ride for research funds for a CURE@