An Incredible Story about an Angel, Literally, an Angel.

KatyI have stated before that I meet the most remarkable people in my travels.  Traveling this week to an incredible event to benefit those who battle diabetes every day.  On the plane recently I began a conversation with Betty.  Betty had remarkable tales of her family and one in particular struck me and that was the story of her niece, Katy, and Katy’s family. 

Katy lost her battle with cancer at the age of 12 in 2010.  She, according to Betty, is now an angel.

Who am I to argue that point. 

Katy’s Courage was created by Katy’s family and a run is held every year which attracts thousands of people.  The goal of this, now, nonprofit group is to eventually open a childhood bereavement center on Long Island in New York, where Katy lived.  In her short life Katy embodied the definition of courage, kindness, and empathy in her valiant fight to beat the rare pediatric cancer she battled, which eventual took her life.  The group also funds other things like scholarships.  A very busy group that is in its infancy, but very determined none-the-less.

Ambitious goals that I applaud.  Katy’s family could have just ‘packed-it-in’ and buried their heads.  There is truly nothing like the loss of a child.  But in Katy’s family, the best way to remember her is to make sure the battle with cancer does not end just with their lovely daughter; it is to make sure her death can be turned into helping others and the entire family is on a mission to make sure ‘helping’ others, as Katy would have done, continues forward.

How amazing. 

But it is at this point in our conversation on the plane that Betty’s eyes start to focus on something that can only be seen in her mind.  Looking at her lovely blue eyes through her glasses, I could see she was razor-focused on whatever she was thinking.  This year’s Katy’s Courage Run took place on Saturday.  Many, like she, in her family just love to run.  On Monday her son would be running in the Boston Marathon, his first attempt at a marathon.  So some family members would head to Boston to cheer him on.

Seems that the family was waiting by the finish line for her son to finish.  They got there early so they would have a great spot at the finish line; right where they could see everything.

She spoke how the runners would go by so quick and many people were all looking to see their loved ones.   In the midst of it all they heard from their son.  He was okay but at mile 17 he had something go wrong with his leg.  It hurt.  He stopped running.

The officials told him it would be better not to finish the race.  Although disappointed, he did not want to cause further damage.  Something told him it was time to pull out.  He reached out to those who were waiting by the finish line, told them there was no reason to wait anymore, and they arranged to meet.  They left their position at the finish line to meet Betty’s son.  As they left and reached about a block later, they heard a huge explosion behind them.  Later they would find out that it was directly where they were standing.

I sat in amazement as she finished her story.  I stated that her entire family surely had an angel looking out after them.

She smiled at me and she said without giving it a second’s thought; “Yes, and her name is Katy.”

I am a diabetes dad.

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A Massacre in Boston

Boston carnageAgain.

A terrorist attack yet again.

From someone who spent 36 straight hours in Lower Manhattan on September 11th, 2001 helping in a way I could have never imagined (that story at another time); my head started to swirl with the news coming from Boston Massachusetts yesterday.  One of the world’s most famous runs, the Boston Marathon, was targeted for a full frontal terrorist attack yesterday.

Being at one of these before, I know the chaos and all that will follow.  I know about loved ones looking for loved ones.  I know about the blood, the pain, and also witnessing the death.  It is indeed a sorrowful day in the United States and the also the world for that matter.

The magnitude difference aside in wounded and killed; Americans are once again realizing their world has been rocked as it has before.  Once again many will suffer for years to come from the 176 people injured (17 still critical) and 3 fatalities (seems that many are also not out of danger yet so that number may unfortunately rise) or just being there to witness the horror.  It stays with you…..forever.

Two bombs were detonated and more were found that were not.  These will become important leads.  In the United States there are many levels of law enforcement with varying degrees of specialty in training and resources.  All work as one in this type- endeavor to bring to justice whoever (person or group) responsible for masterminding this attack.  Presently, there has not been anyone identified.

Much came back to me in the last 24 hours.  We were twelve years younger when that day happened in 2001.  We are a tad ‘harder’ now.  We are a tad this-is-the-world-we-live-in-attitude now.  Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to those who were impacted most in the Boston Marathon horror.

The most interesting thought that comes across me today, is one I had during the carnage of 2001; diabetes does not care.

This is not a time for any sort of comparison and THAT IS NOT WHAT I AM DOING here.  But people with diabetes will not be able to just stop to grieve this attack on our country.  Not just diabetes but so many who are tormented with any individual crisis cannot just jump off to ‘take-in’ this latest cowardly act.  Life will continue.  Good and/or bad, life will continue forward.

But for us, who know the diabetes perspective; everything that is done will need to continue to be done in those daily management issues; that will not change.   The stress of this could very well even impact some and a closer eye should be connected to blood glucose numbers.  Realize that stress of the events can play a role in your life.

And on this day, the day after, those impacted by diabetes will hurt like everyone else about what is going on.  We will all continue because that is what we do.  We are perfect students who have been trained to keep on moving forward……..because what other choice is there?

I am a diabetes dad

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.