I added this to my Facebook page and thought I would share it with you:
Why I choose to walk for the ADA
Most of you know me personally, having hung out with me in high school or college, or for some of you, even earlier. We marched together in the band, rooted our football team to victory -- and commiserated when we were defeated. We danced the weekends away while working at "The Cafe" and doing the banana cheer at Homecoming soccer games in college. You supported me through the tough times, and shared the good times and I always appreciated that. Like everyone, my life has taken a number of unexpected turns. One of the most unexpected happened nearly 18 years ago, while I was working toward a PhD and has continued to impact my life every day since: I developed diabetes.
My life hasn't been the same since. Instead of pasta bars with as much spaghetti as I wanted, I learned to limit my portions --- something that was very difficult to do for someone who grew up with her Italian grandmother's wonderful sauce! Running was no longer something I did when I was late; it was something I had to do. Needles became something other than a tool I used to repair rips; finger sticks and blood glucose tests became a way of life. Math and statistics have become my friends while I calculate insulin:carbohydrate ratios, determine trends, and try to figure out how food, activity, stress, medication, and.....well, let's just say life in general, impacts my diabetes control. It adds a huge complication to my life and to the lives of all people with diabetes.
Needless to say, I would love to have a cure for diabetes, and I support all of the researchers who are diligently working toward a cure. At the same time, though, I have to live with this disease in the here and now. I believe if I manage my diabetes well now, when the cure does come, I will be in good shape and will benefit from a cure. I also believe knowledge and education are key to successful diabetes management. Since I am the one who makes the decisions about what and how much to eat, how long to exercise, and how much insulin to take, I need to have that knowledge and I need to be able to put it to use, something that only happens through education.
The American Diabetes Association provides many resources for both children and adults with diabetes that are not found elsewhere. The ADA offers kids' camps, trade-show expositions, support group meetings, and legal support and advocacy for people with diabetes and their families. These programs and others help provide the knowledge that is needed to survive well with diabetes, and for that, I am grateful to the ADA.
So this Sunday, I will walk with others in support of the American Diabetes Association at City Island in Harrisburg. I invite all of my friends who are able to join me and support all of us who have diabetes. I'd love to see all my friends that I haven't seen in years, if for only a few hours.
I also want to take a moment to personally invite Bret Michaels to the Walk this Sunday. Bret, if you're reading this, from one type 1 to another, I want to say a huge THANK YOU for taking a risk, going on the Celebrity Apprentice, and winning it! You inspired me to volunteer with the ADA to give back to this great organization. So, Bret, if you can, you are more than welcome to join us to walk on City Island -- which would give me the chance to thank you in person!
I hope to see friends on City Island!