First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you, our friends and family for your continued generosity. This is our 9th year Walking to Cure Diabetes on behalf of our daughter Amanda. I remember that first Walk clearly, pushing our then 1 year old daughter in her stroller…she had no idea of all of the love and support that surrounded her that sunny September day. Of course she knew, but could not verbalize at that point, the changes that had gone on in her life. Overnight she had gone from a typical baby girl who was constantly fussed over with pink dresses, tiny hair bows and frilly socks to a baby who was now fussed and fretted over with multiple daily injections and near constant finger pricks. As heartbreaking as that time was for Danny and I, we told ourselves that our little girl finally felt good. That she felt healthy and happy for perhaps the first time in her young life. That luckily, she was blissfully unaware of the constant battle that she would was going to have to wage with this damn disease for the rest of her life.
Flash forward 9 ½ years and Amanda, on the verge of preteen-hood, knows all too well the realities of living with Diabetes. And I would not be exaggerating to tell you that she hates every single second of it. In addition to the 24/7 care that must be taken to keep her physically well, she now struggles daily with the knowledge that she is different. That she has never and will never be a carefree child. That the very nature of what she lives with makes her future uncertain at best. Being forced to question your own mortality on a constant basis is not just scary… for a 10 year old, it is utterly devastating. I never thought I would wish to relive those early days with Amanda. Those first few years after diagnosis were terrifying for Danny and I, but at least we could fight this fight for her back then. Watching our beautiful daughter struggle to fight not only the physical disease but to try to cope with the depression and isolation she feels because of it … there are just no words.
I want it today.
We desperately need your help to realize our dream ... a life for our family that is devoid of seemingly endless suffering due to insulin pump failures, catheter site changes, dangerous blood sugar swings and insulin reactions that Amanda endures and the related heartbreak and helplessness we experience as a result, and the pervasive apprehension about our child's health and future and the persistent threat of complications associated with the disease.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
WALK WITH US AND/OR MAKE A DONATION ON BEHALF OF OUR WALK TEAM:
Once again we are mobilizing our formidable walk team "Amanda's Army" (which last year was an astounding 115 strong) to show our support, raise awareness and, most importantly, raise money for the JDRF. NOTE: This
year's walk is on Sunday, October 17th at 10:00am at the campus of SUNY Old Westbury in Old Westbury, NY.
Plenty of entertainment for the kids including costumed characters, inflatables, a petting zoo, etc. I will
send everyone walk logistics as we get closer to walk day. As those of you who have walked with us before
well know, the walk is a fun day for all and a very special day for team members Amanda, Ruth Broitman and
Debbie Botwinick who are in the midst of a tremendous battle for their future.
REGISTER FOR THE WALK
- OR -
Call the Nassau Chapter of the JDRF at (631) 414-1126.
Registration is easy and is critical so that we can obtain an accurate count for walk-gear, etc. Upon registration, you will be able to create your own web page, complete with custom messaging capability, the ability to solicit others for donations via email and more! I'm sure you will find it as user-friendly as I do.
MAKE AND/OR SOLICIT DONATIONS
Once you complete your registration, start laying the groundwork for soliciting donations. Remember that every dollar counts and goes a long way toward reaching our goal. Last year's team raised an impressive $22,500 and we are setting our sights again at surpassing our fundraising goal. Like last year, donations can be made securely online with any major credit card by clicking on the secure donate button located below on the left or copying and pasting the link shortcut into your browser.
Ask your friends, family, colleagues, clients, etc. to sponsor our team and support the cause by making a nominal donation. If everybody is able to get at least $10 from 15 people, we're well on our way to meeting our desired goal! Encourage them to use this link to do so as well. If you prefer to make a donation via traditional check, please feel free to do so. Please ensure that all checks are made payable to the Juvenile Research Foundation International and are either forwarded to our home at 7 Red Cedar Court, Dix Hills, NY 11746 or brought with you to the walk. As always, we are aggregating all contributions made on behalf our team and presenting them to the JDRF on walk day.
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO WALK WITH US, YOU CAN STILL MAKE AND/OR SOLICIT DONATIONS ON BEHALF OF AMANDA'S ARMY.
I wanted to share with all of you a brief note that our daughter Amanda wanted me to send out after I asked her if she would like to participate in my annual email campaign for your help. She read this to me aloud and then proceeded to break down and cry. I hugged her tightly and asked her why she was crying. She looked at me, tears streaming down her face and said: "Daddy ... I don't want to have diabetes anymore. Please help me and find a cure."
I have never felt so helpless and distraught in my entire life save for the day that I first saw my precious 13-month old baby girl laying lethargic and unresponsive in a metal crib in the pediatric intensive care unit the day she was diagnosed. There is nothing more heart/gut-wrenching to a father than to witness the suffering of your child and not have the ability to immediately relieve the pain. Amanda is the strongest and most fearless child I have ever known, yet here she was reaching out to me in a desperate plea for help, understandably exasperated by this insidious and relentless disease which has stripped her of the opportunity to live a "normal" life.
I could do nothing more but hold her and tell her that we are and will continue to do all that we can to make sure that she has that chance - the opportunity to enjoy life without enduring the sudden swings in blood sugar that may in the short-term cause confusion, nausea and unconsciousness and in the long-term cause irreparable damage to the blood-vessels in her vital organs, counting every carbohydrate she consumes and worrying how much insulin she needs to counteract its effect, pricking her fingers eight to twelve times per day, dealing with painful catheter needles, blocked catheter tubing and infusion sites, enduring emergency room visits and extended hospital stays for mere stomach viruses, etc.
My daughter is my hero - bar none. She is awe-inspiring and has blessed us more than we could ever hope to be. Your unyielding support and generosity give us the strength to carry on and the hope that one day soon her plea will be answered.
To all my friends and family,
You all know that Ive been living with diabetes my whole life, and it stinks. It would be a dream come true if I could even live one day without this annoying disease. Im crossing my fingers every year and wishing for hope and I have a feeling this or maybe next year might be it. All I need are donations to the JDRF and I will wait and see if all the great doctors can do it.
I would love not to have to do finger pricks, site changes, not having to wear a pump and not watching my blood sugar all the time. I cant eat my cheese cake and black and white cookies -- forget about that. I could be a normal kid.
I would love it if you could send money to help me and millions of other kids around the world. We would all love not to have diabetes anymore.