Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Lot of Steps

About 6 years my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I thank God every day that I can say that my mother is a survivor of this awful challenge in her life. Ever year since she was diagnosed my mom, sisters, and my wife participate in the Revlon Run-Walk to fight women's cancers. Its always the day before Mother's Day and has become a great tradition. All of us guys watch all of the kids as the Gals in our lives walk for a cure.

What I have noticed is that I always get a little bitter each year when this day nears. No one in my family has ever thought about doing a Diabetes walk or at least has verbalized their interest to me. I feel so hurt as if I am just on my own and don't have the support of my family and friends but at the same time I feel guilty becuase what they are walking for is a GREAT cause!

I had a long conversation with a very good friend the other night and finally expressed this feeling. This friend by the way lost her mother to cancer several years back. She is so understanding and caring that I knew I was safe bringing this up. I told her that I felt like saying, "Mom HAD cancer, I HAVE diabetes!!!!" But I would never say that. I couldn't. Hell, I deleted that sentence twice before I finally moved on to type this one.

What she said to me made so much sense. She said, "You can't expect people to understand Diabetes. People see it as a manageble disease and if they don't have it then they don't think about it much. Cancer automatically puts everyone in "Oh My God!" mode and they instantly connect it to death."

This totally hit me....hard.

What have I done to educate my family? What have I done to show that I want to be a Diabetes Advocate? When have I ever truly shown any interest in my disease? When have I ever expressed my true feeling about this to my family? Never.

My family does not know how my life has changed recently. My new found Born Again attitude towards Diabetes and my desire and drive to get better, get managed, and get healthy.

So with that, I have created a team to join the American Walk for Diabetes in November. I know it's a while from now but I figure that gives me enough time to get a lot of sponsers and get the word out. I have already asked my wife, sisters, and my good friends and they are all interested. I feel so much better.

One of my sisters said, "Dude we have been waiting for you to tell us about something like this. Count me in!"

I am such a dork.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Isn't it funny how we over-complicate stuff so much? I do the same thing. Then, like you saw, all you had to do was ask!

I think you'll get a real boost out of doing the walk. You'll be surprised by how those around you will rally to support you.

The event itself will be incredible. I want you to remember to pay attention to just how you feel seeing all those people gathering together at the same place at the same time, and they are all there to make an impact on diabetes. Man - it's really something special.

I look forward to reading about it - even though it's a long ways away.

Sarah said...

Its funny, I had the same thought as my mom sent out her American Heart Association fund envelopes. Why wasn't she doing anything for Diabetes??? Then I realized - What was I doing for it? I signed up for my very first walk last week. 12.5 yrs, I've been quiet and its time to change!

Now I just need to get the nerve to start asking for pledges! LOL

julia said...

I try to do the diabetes walk every year. Some years, I don't raise much money at all, but just being there, with all those thousands of people, is uplifting and energizing. Good for you for getting involved. And hey, we're all dorks sometimes.

Lisajem said...

I CANT WAIT TO DO THIS WALK WITH YOU!!!!! should be proud! i signed up so i can post....:-)