When Kaitlyn was diagnosed over 22 years ago, I made her a promise. I promised her that we would do all we could to make sure she was well taken care of and more than that, I promised her that I would not rest until a cure was found.
Every step I have taken has been search of that end. I never thought I would end up in this field (being at the DRI) as a profession. But when the door opened, every door that opened, I walked through it not knowing fully where I would end up. The profession became my career. I neither wanted it, expected it, nor ever thought it would turn out this way. What I did know was that I did not come from a family of means, and I never figured I was the type who would make the millions to give where, and when, I wanted.
As I moved forward, I figured I COULD help a little by sharing my story and asking others to join. I ended up with a career I never wanted but where it seemed; I could do. And all I could do was continue to try to do my best Diabetes became my world.
I tell you this because maybe it makes me naïve in my belief. Maybe it makes me jaded to naysayers. Maybe those who believe there is no cure for our children…..will be correct. That is both their right and their prerogative. I don’t want to convince them otherwise BUT I ALSO know that those who believe differently, will never impact me one iota on my focus to make sure I’M doing all I CAN to help us achieve the goal of a cure because THAT was MY promise.
I have stated a thousand times that education is the equalizer in diabetes. For us, THAT EDUCATION was advanced forward at great speeds due to our involvement with CWD. They, the people involved and the friends we’ve met, have allowed our kids to excel beyond measure. You do not have to believe that; there are surely other ways you can educate your child and any venue you choose is between you and your family and I can only wish you well. To those who choose not to educate themselves, in some way, that’s your choice as well. No one has to do it one particular way….it’s your call. We choose this pathway, to this day, and it has served us well.
I have stated a thousand times that I believe there will be a cure. I do not say this for you to believe or not believe, I share because WE BELIEVE that point and it has served us well. When I write, I share things that I think are pertinent in our diabetes lives.
It’s the easy way out to believe in something already proven or something you can touch, today. It’s easy to throw up your hands and say, “….it will never come…..”. Whatever ‘it’ is. Talk to anyone hugely successful in business, or in the development of any product, and they will tell you the same thing; the hardest part was continuing when everyone else said it could not be done.
I do not allow myself to gravitate towards those who say something cannot be done; I want to be drawn by someone who says; “I don’t care how it looks or how many times different roads failed, we are staying at it until we finish the job.”
THAT’S WHO I WANT AROUND ME AND WHO I WILL FOLLOW.
But do not mistake MY intentions, I’m not naïve. I do my homework. I investigate things in every possible dimension I can. If I don’t like what I see, I move on.
As an example. The world said that you could not take islet cells and put them in another person’s body and they would work. It was said IT COULD NOT BE DONE. I was there. I heard leaders from so many areas say IT COULD NOT BE DONE. Guess what? It was done. The same people came back and said, “Well yeah, it worked but with anti-rejection drugs.” And I thought……..so??????? It’s a start. Why not continue on a path to perfect the process. Easy? No. But worthy.
When the pump was the size of a small refrigerator, many said this was a waste of time. I was there. I heard many say it would never be practical. And I thought……..so????? It’s a start. Why not continue on a path to perfect the process. Easy? No. But worthy. We are talking about THE insulin pump!!!!! (looking at it today—can you imagine?) Well that did not stop those who were working on it.
In both of these cases, what was said could not be done…..was done. If the amount of money that was dumped globally into perfecting the pump, was also dumped into perfecting islet cell involvement; where do you think we would be today? But some just said……it did not work our way, so forget it. But many kept at it ANY way they could.
My point. Perfection is a process. Just because YOU are not an expert in knowing everything, does not mean it is not being worked on. And lastly, if NASA decided after the first test rocket blew up that they were done, we never would have walked on the moon.
So for us, in my house, we are not taking our eyes off the cure and not letting anyone else convince otherwise. You can not help any process sitting on the outside saying “…..you will never get there….” or “…I don’t agree with you….”. No one, NO ONE, fixed anything from the outside. They got in, rolled up their sleeves, and stay determined and focused until the job was completed.
How many glass enclosed hot wires exploded before one stayed lit as a bulb; thank you Thomas Edison for sticking with it. In our house, our light is a cure, down the tunnel a bit for sure, but I am staying with it until I can hold that bulb-of-a-cure in my hand. Together. Alone. Makes no matter to me……the promise I made was to my children…….and if not for them……than for whom. THAT light will never dim in our house. Period.
I am a diabetes dad.
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