Monday, October 18, 2010

Our Walk

Yesterday was our first JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. Yes, I cried. Only once. Okay, I also teared up another time. My friends were a little worried about me because they're not used to seeing me get emotional, but hubby knows I am capable of opening up the water works - even if it's a just a little drip - every once in a while. As a D-Parent, it can be a little overwhelming to be surrounded by thousands of people who, in one way or another, live with Juvenile Diabetes every day.

But, to be completely honest, what got me choked up was seeing all of the apples and bananas and crackers - boxes and boxes and boxes of them - sitting out for anyone to grab. Yeah, lots of folks grab 'em because they appreciate a free snack, or their littler ones are a bit peckish and need a snack. But, these, really, are "low stations"...quick carbs set out for any diabetic who may be getting low and needing some emergency carbs (not that any parent of a diabetic child would ever leave the house without an emergency snack). But, in this particular gathering, carbs are love, and there was plenty of love to go around. Oh, and there were free sugar-free treats as well :)

The Grand Stand....
"THANK YOU" to all of the sponsors and volunteers who made this happen!

So, after checking in and picking up our bushel of t-shirts, we wandered around a bit. They had a zumba instructor lead our warm-up.

"Let's all Zumba!"

T-Bear, Miss Christin, and Sydney Zumba-ing.

Big J: "Nope. Ain't zumba-ing."

One of the greatest things about this event was seeing all of the team t-shirts. Some teams were little, like ours (we didn't have t-shirts this year). Some teams were huge, and all coordinated and everything. Most team shirts were pretty straight forward, but some were really clever.

One of my favorite t-shirts.

I wasn't able to get a good shot of my other favorite; the "periodic table of diabetic elements" on the front...and "The only Matter that Matters is a Cure" on the back. Also, the "Pirates of the Cure-abean" was kind of clever. Though, I'm thinking "Pirates of the Cure-a-'Betes" might be our team motto for next year...
So, once we noticed a huge hoard of folks all walking down the road, Team Thunder Bear joined in and pulled up the rear.

Papa Bear pulling Sydney in the wagon, BooBoo on his cycle, Nic hoofing it, and BroBear on his scooter.

The Walkin' Crowd.
Gets me all weepy.

T-Bear scootering.

Papa Bear scootering.

Our official Team photographer, S.
One of the other things that got to me was S's comment, something to the effect that, with thousands of people showing up to this event, "You can't tell which ones have diabetes, and which ones don't. They all look so happy and healthy." In some ways this is a really great thing. Our kids with Juvenile Diabetes are, for the most part, happy and healthy, which every D-Parent is incredibly grateful for. And, at the same time, this appearance of health makes it difficult for others to understand how much time, effort, and heartbreak goes into keeping each one of these kids "happy and healthy" on an hour-by-hour basis. It's exhausting. At times it's all-consuming. And, we do it every single day, day after day, hour after hour, while doing our best to maintain a semi-normal family and personal life. But, all of us are doing it every day. Every single day. And knowing that there are so many of us trudging along in the same direction...well, that makes a world of difference to this particular exhausted D-Mom.
But, back to the Walk. All of the kids did really great. T-Bear started getting overheated in the second half, which always makes him spike. We pulled off on the side, sat down in the shade, and took a number. He was high - in the 250's - so I gave him some water and we rested for a bit. Giving him insulin at this point, on the tail of physical exhertion and without a high-carb, fat-and-protien-balanced meal would be dangerous, so we had to wait it out and hope to flush out the excess glucose with lots of water. Being at the very tail-end of the Walk Dragon, we had a couple of police officers following us close behind. Since we were clearly having some difficulty, the officer in the car asked if we needed a ride.
Heck yeah! So, T-Bear, Christin, Sydney and I piled into the back seat. Wow. That's really not a pleasant place to have to ride. It's tighter than flying economy class, and the seats are hard formed plastic. So glad we weren't handcuffed.

View from the back seat of the squad car.
Yes, T-Bear was asking all about the video screen.

Once we caught up with Jeff and the wagon, we all piled out of the police car (having someone else opening the door from the outside), and were able to finish the walk.

Portions of Team Thunder Bear at the finish.
Okay, not technically at the official finish, but only a few yards from it.
While some of us rested in the shade and rehydrated, the kids wanted to visit the bouncies again.

T-Bear on the bungie bouncie thingie.

BroBear on the bungie bouncy thingie.

I really don't know how to wrap up this particular post, except to say that we definitely want to do it again next year, we definitely want a bigger team next year, and Papa Bear will be in charge of our sure-to-be-brilliant team t-shirts next year. We may not be the most glamorous, well-put-together D-Team among the hundreds (thousands?) of Walking D-Teams across the country, but, hay, we all showed up and participated. And that means EVERYTHING to this very tired D-Mom.
So, I have to send out one more HUGE "Thank You" to everyone who supported us in this year's walk. And, I'll try to be a much better fund-raiser and Team Captain next year...I promise!
Many, many blessings to all of you,


  1. You are an amazing lady Mo...

  2. Glad it all went well! Glad T Bear had a ball - that is the main thing. Happy to have contributed to a worthy cause that now has significance for me since I know a very awesome young man that I would love to see CURED! Sorry we didn't walk with you - maybe next year.

  3. That's all so special, thanks for sharing it!

    Wish I had a better comment, instead of that understatement, compared to what I think and feel and can't express.

    Congrats and love :)

  4. Words are not enough to express how I feel for you and your family! What a fantastic job you do Monique! Wish I could do something so you would not be so overwhealmed and tired! Larry and I feel for you all!!!
    Healing Blessings to you, William and your family!

  5. The picutres show what an absolute gorgeous day it was! The walk is always very emotional for me. I'm glad it was a big success, and that you want to do it again next year!

  6. I'm so proud of of you and SO glad that you enjoyed it!! Cheers to you!!

  7. Looking forward to next year's walk :)