We see it all the time. Either something happens, or a child is newly diagnosed, and the search for a celebrity is sought to help the child know that they can do anything with diabetes. Sometimes it’s new…..sometimes a reminder is needed. Celebrities are fabulous and it is great they share their stories. But I believe the examples we seek are much closer than we could ever imagine.
Along with a few friends, we have the video shot and we are in post production on creating a video of over 250 pictures (that you sent), and film from a Barton Camp, showing how OUR KIDS WITH DIABETES are in living life to the fullest. THEY are the examples to follow. They are the inspiration.
When I saw the picture I posted today, I burst into tears. Some at the sadness of seeing Marissa Hitchcock Town having diabetes for so long; but mostly at the joy of knowing who Marissa is and how she has lived and how diabetes has stopped her……from nothing. I’ve enjoyed a wonderful long-time friendship with my brother-in-arms, Jeff Hitchcock, his wonderful wife Brenda, and their family. I have known Marissa Hitchcock Town for a long time. I still get choked-up when I see the photo of Marissa at camp receiving an award for giving herself that first injection.
This photo of Marissa receiving her 25 year Lilly Journey Award is about as much an inspiration anyone else with diabetes needs to see.
Marissa will never tell you that this journey has been easy but she will tell you that it certainly has been an incredible one. We can look at the years Marissa spent pursuing her dream and receiving her nursing degree (and is now a Diabetes Nurse Educator), or her working with other kids for years, teaching them how to manage their diabetes, or even her growing up and helping so many other organizations and people in this world with diabetes; and most of all—we can see the happiness in her family with her husband and son.
Being diagnosed at age two is no picnic, this I know from experience with my own daughter. Watching your child DO EVERYTHING every other child does and have to stop to prod, prick, inject, and treat is not, by any means, part of the description of childhood that anyone would ever ask for. But to many of us, that is exactly what happened.
It’s not what happens to you that controls your life; it is WHAT YOU DO with what happens that determines your outcome. It is what YOU decide for your kids and/or yourself that ‘makes’ or ‘breaks’ a person. We all have had ‘life’ thrown at us. In this aspect, none of us are different. Some have had more than others.
It is no small feat to live with diabetes, doing it for 25 years on a journey that YOU navigate……….and thrive, THAT IS WORTH recognizing. So the next time you are looking for someone who has achieved much in this world, even at a young age, Marissa Hitchcock Town is a perfect example.
Marissa is not a celebrity. She does not play football in the NFL, race a car, swim across bodies of water, or climb Mt. Everest with diabetes. She does, HOWEVER, live a full and complete life with HER diabetes. And when all is said and done regarding living with diabetes, it is the best thing we can hope, pray, wish, and/or desire for any and all of our kids. Congratulations Marissa and thank you for all that you, and Adam, do for all of our kids with diabetes.
I am a diabetes dad.
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