This year we had the amazing opportunity to serve as the Ambassador Family for the 2010 Walk to Cure Diabetes. What does an Ambassador Family do??? Well, for our chapter, this means you speak at different events to tell your story and hopefully inspire the community and fellow d-families to join us in our efforts to raise money for the research needed to fund a cure for type 1 diabetes.
We spoke at four different events this year...to say that we were nervous at first would be an understatement if ever there was! The first time we stood in front of a group of strangers and spoke about our journey with type 1 diabetes and the impact it had on our family was incredibly difficult. I'm not gonna lie...I was a blubbering mess, you couldn't stop the tears from flowing if you paid me! Although the tears were flowing freely...I was able to speak with as much passion as there was pain.
It was a hugely successful moment for us and I have a post planned to tell you much more about that eventful day and the passion and drive that it later fueled in me.
We later had an opportunity to speak at a breakfast that was geared just towards our local business community and corporate sponsors. This was hands down one of the most rewarding experiences ever! I cannot fully express to you the emotions of that day, I can say that it felt like I had angels lifting me up and giving me the strength to deliver our story with as much heart, passion and courage as I have ever had.
It was bizarre, when my family took to the podium at this corporate breakfast I had NO FEAR...not an ounce of nervousness or hesitation. It felt as if a warm blanket of strength and courage had been wrapped around my shoulders as I walked towards the microphone. There we stood in front of 100 plus members of our local business community and we were able to tell them our story, yes...I cried at this event too. What can I say, I get all emotional when I revisit the days that my precious daughters were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and the many days since that have been filled with needles, finger pokes, 3 am blood sugar checks, low blood sugars and high blood sugars. Despite my tears, I was able to tell them what life with d is truly like. The good, the bad and the downright scary.
The most rewarding part of that day was after the event was over, suddenly we were surrounded by strangers who wanted to hug us, thank us and tell us how moved they were by our story. We met one woman who has had type 1 diabetes for decades now, she came up to me, wrapped her arms around me and gave me the best gift ever. She wanted to thank us for sharing our journey with them, she knew that our story would inspire some of these businesses to join JDRF and us in our efforts to find a cure, and as someone who has lived with the disease for so long she said she just felt such gratitude towards us for being able to share something that is so painful. Her tears and emotions were so real and so raw, it was an indescribable moment.
We met a few other adults who had t1, they all thanked us and truly gave us a gift...it was a gift of gratitude. It warmed this d-mama's heart to know that our story may somehow inspire others to give to and support such a worthy and important cause. Any fear, any hesitation, any doubt I had about telling our families story to 100's of strangers evaporated that day. I knew that morning, we had done something and been a part of something that was so much bigger then us...when we got into our car together after the event was over my husband and I looked at each other and just smiled.
I'm not sharing this story with you to toot my own horn :) I guess my biggest reason for sharing this is that I believe that we all have a story, it's one that can inspire hope, change and progress. I may not get that cure that I dream of as soon as I would like, but I do know that amazing things are happening in the field of diabetes research and technology and if our story (or yours) can help by inspiring others to work with us towards a cure and help speed things up...hey, I'm all for it! Sometimes it's scary to open up and share like that, but sometimes...it can be life changing and the rewards that your heart receive are incredible.