Today I am posting the letter that we are sending out for our JDRF walk.
This year, I took a little bit more of a personal take on our family team letter. I combined last year's letter (which was a little more stat based) and a past blog post. It's hard to get the right balance. I want people to know the statistics about diabetes. I want people to understand the scary reality that we are facing and why we feel so compelled to do everything we can to find a cure. And I want people to have a little idea what it's like emotionally - for us and for Sweetpea.
If you are writing your own team letter in the future, you are welcome to copy and paste from us!
After all.... we are in this together for the same reasons. We NEED a CURE and we NEED it NOW!
Dear Family and Friends,
We are writing to you on behalf of our daughter, Sweetpea. On April 27, 2009, just weeks after her third birthday, she was diagnosed with Type 1 (Juvenile) Diabetes. She will be insulin dependent for the rest of her life. She is required to constantly check her blood sugar by pricking her tiny fingers 7-10 times a day - including throughout the night. Everything she consumes must be measured and weighed. She wears an insulin pump 24 hours a day which continually infuses insulin into her body. But the insulin that she takes is not a cure - it is merely life support.
We have been asked what life would be like if Sweetpea was cured. It doesn't take long for us to think of a list! We would SLEEP. Through the night. Night after night after night after night... Never set an alarm for 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, 4 am ever again. And certainly never set an alarm for all of those times. Never hold our breath when we go in to wake her in the morning - because we would no longer fear that she has passed away in the night due to low blood sugar. Sweetpea would never have to be woken up in the night to drink juice. We would enjoy meals without counting carbs, giving insulin, and recording it all in our little blue book. We would forget the carb count for every food imaginable. Sweetpea would get to have playdates at a friend's house - because it would no longer be too much to ask another parent to handle diabetes. We would not be forced to interrupt playtime, dance, gymnastics, or school to check blood sugar. We would not worry if her falling down was due to a hypoglycemic episode. Sweetpea's fingertips would no longer always look dirty - because all of those millions of little bruises and holes from blood sugar checks would heal and disappear forever. Sweetpea's body would no longer have red marks all over it because we would no longer be inserting needles into her body. We would no longer see our child's blood every. single. day. Sweetpea could go to slumber parties with friends. Sweetpea would be able to drive a car without always checking her blood sugar first. Sweetpea would be able to go away to college and live on her own without being hounded by frantic parents about her blood sugar. Sweetpea would live a long, healthy life - and things like heart attack, stroke, neuropathy, kidney failure, amputations, and blindness would not be a part of her reality. We would have a party and serve food like pizza and ice cream and cake without worry. We would not watch every single bite that she takes. We would have a bonfire and throw in all of our supplies. In go the syringes, the insulin, the sets, the wipes, the numbing cream, the test strips, the meters, the pouches, the lancets, the ketone strips.... We would save one of each supply and put it into a shadow box and hang it prominently in our home so that every day we would see what WAS and give thanks to God for what now IS. But before any of that... We would fall to our knees and weep. For a long, long time.
Won't you help us make this a reality?
On Saturday, October 2, 2010, Princess Sweetpea's Dream Team will walk in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes at ________ in _____. JDRF is the largest worldwide organization dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes. In a typical year, over 85% of every dollar raised goes directly to diabetes research and education. Since 1970, JDRF has provided more than $1 billion to diabetes research. We have put our dream of a cure in JDRF's hands. We would be honored if you would do the same.
There are three ways you can help make a difference for Sweetpea.
1. You can join our walk team, known as Princess Sweetpea's Dream Team, which consists of family and friends who walk with us to show support for Sweetpea. Register online at: walk.jdrf.org.
2. You can make credit card donations to support our team via the above link. Or, you can send our family a tax deductible donation in any amount, made payable to JDRF. We will deliver any donations in Sweetpea's honor to the local JDRF office.
3. Contact others in your circle of family and friends to donate as well. Just get in touch with us and we can send you a pledge form. If you choose to raise donations yourself, you may forward this letter or write one of your own.
Last year, our team raised over $12,000 and had a team of 40 walkers! We would love to break those records this year. Thank you for your support of Sweetpea and we hope to see you at the Walk on October 2nd!
Please watch Sweetpea's Walk Video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgw1uMWzxw0
To find out more about our daily life with diabetes you can read Hallie's blog, The Princess and The Pump at www.theprincessandthepump.com
With Sincere Thanks,