I received in the mail last month a flyer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for a Cure. As I read it over, my daughter walked in and asked about it. I explained it was a walk that we could do to help raise money to find a cure for diabetes. Her face lit up. “Can we do it Mommy? Can we do it?”
“Er, okay,” I said, admittedly taken back a bit by her enthusiasm. “We can do the 2 mile ‘fun walk’, and maybe get Aunt Molly or Aunt Kelly to do it with us.”
“And then after we do it, I won’t have diabetes anymore?”
Her bright eyes stared up at me with all the hope that I never knew she was holding back. She’s been so mature and accepting since her diagnosis, it never occurred to me that her cooperation was actually resignation.
My heart sank as I shook my head and said, “No, sweetheart, you’ll still have diabetes. This is just to raise money so …”
“But you said it was for a cure!” The excited hope faded as her eyes filled with tears and my heart broke a little more.
With her face buried in my tummy, I hugged her tight and explained how doctors and scientists were trying to find a cure so maybe someday she wouldn’t have it anymore. But the walk was to help give money so they could keep trying. Before my eyes, I watched this little girl rub the tears from her face, take a deep breath, and age about ten years. Her moment of giving in to the fear and frustration of her life had passed and back was the resignation and acceptance. “Can I wear a side pony-tail today for school?” she sighed. “We’re dancing in gym class and I want to be able to whip my hair back and forth.”
It was more than a week later, that she came to me and asked if we were going to walk in that diabetes walk. I’d actually put the flyer in the throw-away mail pile that tends to accumulate on our kitchen island, assuming it would be a few years before I brought it up again. But she’d decided it would be fun if Aunt Molly and Aunt Kelly could come up and walk with her. And maybe we could all wear purple.
So we are walking in the JDRF Walk for a Cure this October 29th in Indianapolis. Apparently if she raises $100, she gets a t-shirt. I have a feeling it will be the best $100 t-shirt she’s ever had.