Honoring Eleanor Harkins (19 yrs old [7 yrs w/ T1D]) & Eamon Brothers (5 yrs old [4 yrs w/ T1D])
I’m committed to ride and raise money in this inspirational event not just because 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, but because I personally know two of them, and want to do something about it. Let me tell you a little about these two special people:
Eleanor is my oldest daughter. She was 12 years old in 2010, just starting to make the transition from being "my little girl" to being a fine young woman when we took a family vacation to visit Disneyworld. Instead of seeing Snow White's castle, we got very well acquainted with the fine folks in the Pediatric Diabetes unit at the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital. She almost left us during that visit - her blood glucose level was at 900 mg/dl and she was suffering from diabetic ketoacidocis (DKA) and hypokalemia (low serum potassium). Needless to say, Mommy & Daddy (me) were very scared (still am) and spent a LOT of time in prayer (still do) and learning, learning, learning. Seven years later, as an 19 year old sophomore in college, she is doing better dealing with T1D - she has decided that she wants her career to be as a diabetes nurse educator - but we still hope and pray (every day) for a breakthrough that will allow her to dispense with the daily disciplines of testing, injecting, and monitoring. She would love it...and so would Mom & Dad (me)!
Eamon is the son of my cousin, Erin Brothers, & her husband, Jeremy. Erin's words from Feb 2016 say it best.... "So, if you don't know this kid, you are missing out. I will admit to his having a stubborn streak, but he's four. That's right, four. Today, I am so grateful that he is four. Four years, three months, four weeks, and one day. Three years ago, sitting in an emergency room, I was surrounded by people who assured me we would see this day and for them, I am grateful. For friends and parents of friends with diabetes who have showed and continue to show that there is a beautiful life to be had, even with diabetes, I am grateful. For the doctors and nurses who have cared for him since, I am grateful. For a family who has not only taken on the responsibility of managing his diabetes, but embraced the opportunity to learn something new, I am grateful. And mostly for a vivacious, hilarious, intelligent little boy who has more resilience in one little finger than most people do in their entire body, I am eternally grateful! Happy third diabetaversary, Eamon Joel. Here's to many more (or a cure)!"
You can help too, just by donating. It would mean the world to me...and to Eleanor...and to Eamon...and to all the people who love and care for people with T1D.
This year is even more special because (I think) Eleanor will be riding with me in Tour de Cure as a RED RIDER. Now she is not only the recipient of what the ADA and JDRF have done, she is directly working to improve the lives of people with diabetes through research, advocacy and education.
To help support my efforts, to make an impact, and to shape the future of diabetes, please click on the Donate button.
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