On and on I could go.
Bradford and I met here, on TuDiabetes. We are both on the TuD admin team, iPhone enthusiasts, and Pod users (my use of course, indirect).
Bradford is on Team Type 1 and most definitely possesses all the aforementioned characteristics. I've asked him if there's some sort of vetting process to which potential team members are subjected to ensure they possess both the physical attributes and these exemplary, personal character traits.
He says there is not.
Nevertheless, the people from the team are of the highest caliber and just when I think they can't possibly impress me any more, they do.
One day, Bradford casually mentions to the TuD team that he's going to be in Waterbury, CT for a race in a few days.
That's a half hour away from us!
I read Melissa's postabout her family's get together with Bradford and it sounded so familiar.
When the race weekend came, the five of us packed into the truck, picked him up at his hotel and headed to a local eatery. Bradford fit right in, starting with the seatbelt buckle roll call - the kids counted off letting us know they were buckled in and Bradford added his count to ensure us he was safe. Over dinner we talked, played, he gave racing tips to Colin and answered lots of questions from everyone.
Bradford was instantly one of the family.
He and I have chatted so many times talking about Pod nuances, dosing strategies and the uses of CGMs, particularly as he transitioned to DexCom. Bradford is all over his stuff - he takes things seriously, yet not overly so. He is responsible and most of all, kind and sincere. I dare say it's impossible not to like him. Impossible.
I see in Bradford a friend, a sounding board and a future for Caleb. As with Cliff and Phil, I see what I hope Caleb can one day become - a confident, capable young man, making and meeting goals, and doing so with composure and humility. But not just Caleb. Bradford is a role model for Colin and Lila as well. We all consider him our friend and each of my children look up to him.
Colin has a great interest in Bradford's races. He talks about him often, as does Lila. "Remember when we met Bradford...", "Oh, Bradford would think that's cool...", "I wonder what Bradford is up to..."
Having met fellow Podder Bradford was a great help when Caleb showed concern about his future and being able to take care of himself. It was so easy to refer to this real life person- this friend - and say, "Bradford has done this and continues to do this. So can you." Not having that point of reference would have made my prospect of Caleb's future much less credible.
Not too long ago the kids received a care package from Bradford. They were thrilled. It was obvious that Bradford put care into his choices for each of them, including a training journal for Colin and a special bike key chain for Lila. The Team Type 1 hats are reached for time and time again because of their special meaning - even Dave snatches one up every now and then.
I am so very happy our paths crossed, Bradford. You are an absolute inspiration to us all. Thank you for your support of me and your kindness to my children. It is a treasured gift to have met you in person and for you to have continued to correspond with each my kids. I'm sure your parents are so very proud of you. I can only hope that Dave and I come somewhere close to doing the job they have, to have raised such a remarkable man.