Meri and I worked together - more a professional relationship than a friendship. We had virtually the same due dates for our first borns. We then shared two other pregnancies and our professional ties were broken and our friendship blossomed.
I am not aware that Meri or her husband know anyone living with diabetes as well as they know Caleb. They and their three children are perhaps the model of what good friends with no direct experience or knowledge should be as it relates to supporting others dealing with something like diabetes. That statement really isn't fair though. They are just good friends; kind, selfless people who sincerely care. Because of that, they have been everything a friend in crisis could ever want or need.
It is because of them that Caleb is using the OmniPod. Caleb's doctor did not recommend it when we were deciding on pumps. Meri mentioned "this new thing" that her husband knew of because of an investment. Had she not mentioned it, I would not have known about it and Caleb would have been pumping with something else these last four-plus years. That's a big deal to us. I know that all the pumps are effective, but for Caleb and his lifestyle, OmniPod is the right choice.
Each of their two daughters has dedicated a birthday to diabetes research. Their oldest, Hana, who is Colin's age (remember they pretty much shared the same due date), asked her friends to donate to Dr. Faustman's research in lieu of gifts one year. Last year, their second born, Emi (Caleb's age) asked friends to direct their gift giving resources to JDRF. Combined, they've raised nearly $1,000 for diabetes research.
This past November, both Hana and Emi asked friends and classmates to support those living with diabetes by wearing blue. They asked this not for themselves, nor a close or even distant family member, but to honor their "friend Caleb" and all who live with diabetes, including a special teacher of theirs. Their selfless intentions are to spread awareness and make life better for others.
When I think of our support system, Meri and family are always at the very top of the list. At no point have we been able to share dosing techniques or Pod placement or anything remotely close to that. But I have always felt love and caring from them. They are always sincerely and genuinely interested; always kind without making it a bigger deal than necessary.
They have and continue to inspire me to be a better person - to think of others before myself. When I think of what a good friend should be, I think of them. I am so appreciative of all that they have done and continue to do. We are so fortunate to have them in our lives.
In January, This is Caleb... is dedicated to Friend Parade and I am honored to have this family kick it off.