Below are excerpts from the letter I emailed and facebooked to our friends and family last week:
This year marks the 10th year our family has walked for JDRF. Our first walk was in Boston, 11 months after she was diagnosed. We walked 3 miles through Boston in the pouring rain carrying a 23 month old who refused to sit in her stroller. Despite all of that, it was an incredible day. People lined the banks of the Charles River as far as we could see in either direction. They were all there because they knew what we'd found out over the past year. Living with diabetes is painful and challenging. They were hopeful that the research supported by JDRF would improve the lives of people with diabetes. That hope was contagious, and started us on our journey towards supporting this organization.
I'll spare you the paragraph about the how crappy it is to live with diabetes, and the one about the kinds of research JDRF supports. If you're reading this, you have at least a rudimentary knowledge of both.
Ten years is a long time. Some of you have been asked ten times now to join us and/or donate to our walk team. Maybe you're tired of being asked. We're certainly tired of asking. Yet we hope you've caught a little bit of our hope that JDRF is making progress, and that one day you'll be able to join us in saying that we made our hope for a cure a reality.
Writing the walk letter gets harder every year. I truly am tired of asking people to give money to JDRF. I'm tired of organizing the walk-day logistics. I'm tired of how difficult it is for friends to participate because they're overloaded with fall sports, activities and competing charitable commitments. I'm tired of setting aside the day every year on our calendar. Every September, I find it harder to begin again.
Then I remember that I'm tired of the aforementioned crappiness of living with diabetes. So another walk season commences.
Before I know it, nice things start to happen. People donate generously. Someone who hasn't walked with us before is able to come. An encouraging note comes along with a donation.
I begin to realize again that I'm not alone. While these people aren't in the trenches with me every day, they care. Before I know it, I begin to feel a bit of that hope I artfully described in my letter.
It feels good.