Our hometown JDRF walk was yesterday morning. We had a new venue. Previously it had been at a park with lots of scenery, yesterday's walk started at the ball field downtown. Drago has been not well for two months. We have a GI appointment in a couple weeks that can't come soon enough. Anyway, he missed school Thursday and Friday with more than "normal" sickness. It seems like he has a stomach bug on top of whatever else is going on. So of course he wasn't going to be participating in the walk. And then Friday Sugar Bear also wasn't feeling good. So our team dwindled down to just me. (We didn't have any family or friends signed up this time to walk with us.).
I woke yesterday morning to temps in the mid 40s, windy, overcast, and a light rain. I layered on two long sleeve shirts with a third shirt on top, our team shirt. Hoping I'd stay warm but not too warm. I headed out at 7:54am and got to the venue at 8, did I mention it was literally in my backyard. Found a parking space easily and went to the registration window to turn in one more donation to make our team total $530. My goal for the team was a thousand. It was just me and hubby fundraising. Next time I might make the VIP goal. I hope so. Every bit helps my boys, and they were in the best hands with Daddy while I weathered the walk. After registering I entered the stadium, picked up the four t-shirt tickets and went to the window to get my family their one walk shirts and to pick up the boys special blue shirts for having Type 1. And who should I see at the window? Drago's psychologist was volunteering with JDRF. It warmed my heart to see her. She has Type 1 too and has been amazing with Drago. After t-shirts I walked around and checked out the vendors and snacks. I filled my JDRF cup with half coffee and half hot chocolate, grabbed a banana and talked to the vendors. One thing I've noticed going to events like these is there is always that one question, how are you connected. Before Drago's diagnosis I was the "newly" diagnosed last year. This year there is this look that people get when they find out I have two Type 1s. It's hard to describe. It's a mix of shock, surprise, pity, and genuine concern. I had one vendor say that we were part of the "newly diagnosed" again and how rare that was. And there is always the inevitable "and how are you doing" question. And if I'm talking to a family with more than one child but only one T1 there is the fear behind the eyes that this could happen to them too. Anyway, I made my way through Lilly's, TSlim, animas ping/vibe, Omnipod, and of course Dexcom. Not a lot of new information considering we've been at this almost two years. Even though we don't pump we have been learning about them for quite some time. I also saw some Kirkland gummies which warmed my heart. Those came directly from my work, Costco. I then made my way to find a seat since it was around 8:45 and the walk would start at
9. I listened to the announcements and the gratitude for the sponsors.
And then it was time. I headed for the JDRF arch with hundreds of other people out from the sheltering roof to walk in the elements. People of all ages, babies to great grandparents. Strollers to wheelchairs. Everyone affected in some way by Type 1. Everyone wanting a cure. The first quarter of the walk was in with the buildings and the streets. A light rain falling, we made our way across the bridge of murky water to a park. The grass still green even in the dreary cloud ridden day. For me it was quiet. I could walk my own pace. I had no one to wait for, no one to catch up to. I walked hurriedly. It was cold and my thoughts were on my boys at home. In the park after we rounded the bend to come back along the river we were met with The Mile of Hope. Photos of those with Type 1 dotted the banks, and these were the ones that raised $200 by a specific date. I knew it was not everyone. But it was my boys, one of the boys Sugar Bear met at camp over the summer, newly met families because of this disease. The youngest pictured was 17 months old and the oldest was 55. This part of the walk always makes me emotional. This time I also noticed the other signs with two T1s. And the rain started to come down harder and the wind picked up and we were walking into it. At first I picked up my pace but then I came to a woman pushing a stroller. A 10 month old baby girl inside. The stroller was getting soaked. I opened my umbrella and did my best to keep the water off the stroller while talking to the woman. She wasn't the Mom, the Mom was walking behind us. She was a cousin and they had numerous family with T1. They've been walking for 12 years. They travelled five hours to support their family. Back into the buildings with the rain beating at us and then And then we were back under the roof. I was soaked. I was cold. I was contemplative. I searched out a bathroom to dry off a bit. I ran into our dietician and then one of the Moms I've met on this journey. I got the biggest, sweetest hug. I needed it. I found a seat and listened to the winners of the shirt designs. I searched out a Mom I was encouraged to meet who's daughter has been battling this disease for 7 years and is Drago's age. I was amazed at the size of her team. Hard to miss since they were all in bright yellow. She informed me that they have great support. They make the day all about her daughter. Her in-laws fly in from out of state to walk with them. It was amazing. And then I went home.
I showed the boys all the goodies I picked up at the walk. Sugar Bear immediately put on his sunglasses. Sunglasses on a raining, overcast, stormy day. Both were excited about the gummies and fig bars I'd snatched for them. I don't think I was home more than 15 minutes before Drago threw up. Poor boy. And then I was on the phone with the endocrinologist formulating a plan to make it okay through this storm. One step at a time. Warm and dry I shrugged my shoulders and willingly walked back into it.