We did it!
The JDRF One Walk was held last Sunday in nearly perfect conditions. Sunny, cool, breezy, mayfly-free (a big deal on City Island in Harrisburg!), and really just a picturesque location. We truly had an Army of supporters there to support Davis and cheer him on. And I always try and take a step back to appreciate that. I like to remind HIM of that as well, that all of the funds we raise, all of the shirts we sell, all of the attention and love is because of him. I might coax some people along from time to time, but truly Davis is the heart (and pancreas!) of the operation.
What started out as an attempt to at least reach our initial goal of $7,500, took on a life of its own. Our expectations for this year were not that high because we have been doing this for a few years, and interest often wains. But my dear family and friends, what we saw this year was incredible. What we saw this year was not just another effort in fundraising and support. What we saw was an actual movement.
And as we try to process all this goodness directed our way, it continues to come our way. Several people have contacted us about still donating, and still buying tee shirts. Both options are still possible. If we get enough interest I can place another shirt order. I'll advertise this on its own.
As we sit in amazement while the dust settles, we must look ahead as well. The official kickoff of our 2017 campaign will be Saturday, March 11, when we hold our Third Annual Cabaret Night. We are excited to announce it will be held in town this year, at Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works. Such a great community partner!
We must thank you all again for the generosity, support, prayers, and love you have given. This is an amazing effort, and shows why we are not just a team, but an ARMY! Thank you for being our light.
Fittingly on this, the start of National Diabetes Awareness Month, Davis had a regular appointment with his Certified Diabetes Educator at the endocrinologist's office.
Walking in there should be routine by now, as we are there at least three times a year. But that lobby always strikes me back to the first day we went there, to confirm his diagnosis and start treatment on December 12, 2012 (yes, 12/12/12). Those emotions will reside in me forever. And as scared as I was of what was to become our new way of life, I cannot imagine the fear Davis felt. I snapped a photo of him that day, and it captured all the emotion in a single frame. This is one of the most honest, most raw photos I have ever taken. I cannot share it publicly though, as this was a moment of authentic, visceral vulnerability. But trust me when I share that the fear he felt that day was not a solo act.
Flash forward nearly four years later. Davis went from four injections every single day to the autonomy of an insulin pump. (Coolest life-saving iPod ever!) He openly talks about his diabetes with friends and family, and for the most part acts like it is no big deal. I could only hope to be that strong. The thing is, aside from witnessing pregnancy and childbirth with my wife, this has been the most educational experience of my life. We learn something new every day, not just about the disease but about ourselves. It has taught us all resolve, selflessness, deeper love and compassion, an understanding of others' hidden struggles, and acceptance of differences as simply unique qualities that make us all really cool. (I'm admittedly a big nerd, so I use that term loosely.) I have been so proud of how Davis handles himself and this disease. He has grown immensely because of it, faster than most kids his age typically need to. His experience at Diabetes Camp in Summer 2015 was incredible: the things we learned about him, and the things he learned about himself! We have all grown through this. Nicole and I need to protect, support, and love, of course. But we have grown. As a family. And his little brother Jude is such an amazing human being and loving younger brother. Watching them do their version of Saturday Night Live skits is absolutely delightful. I believe I have heard their versions of Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker, and David Pumpkins, about 20 times each this week. And I laugh every time. They fight because they are brothers, they laugh and carry on because they are friends, and above all, they love because they are family.
So as we venture into National Diabetes Awareness Month, we all need to remember that Type One Diabetes is never easy to live with, but it is easy to cope with when you have love and support of so many family members and friends. The outpouring of love and support our Walk Team has received throughout this fundraising cycle has been nothing short of astounding. This was extremely evident last night at our Restaurant Night fundraiser at Capitol Diner in Harrisburg. I lost track, but estimate that 120 or more people were there in support of Davis and our fight for a cure. We even met people we never saw before, and they wanted to participate after meeting Davis and learning of his story. So in this crazy period of time where there is so much anger in this country because others don't share the same opinion, we witnessed how much goodness there can be in our world. Or at least in our community. Remember folks, we are only as good as how we treat each other. Golden Rule always applies!
As always, we do this for a cure. We do this for Davis! And we don't do it alone, we do it as an army.
Dumbledore's Army for Davis