Sunday, January 22, 2012

JDRF Promise Ball 2012

Last night we were once again honored to attend the 12th annual JDRF Promise Ball. Of course we were only attending as Volunteers, but thats exactly what Maddison loves most about it! This was our 6th year attending, and by far the most exciting.(except our first year when 2 of our puppies brought in $9K in the live auction!!

This year’s black-tie gala featured special guest and celebrity honoree Brett Michaels, best known as member of the glamrock group “Poison.” I must say Brett is a totally down to earth guy, and all in this for the children! Brett was himself dx'd at the age of 6, over 40 years ago. Brett's daughter "Raine" was diagnosed at the age of 9 back in 2010 while he was filming the hit reality show "Celebrity Apprentice" with Donald Trump. "Raine" designed and auctioned off an awesome Pink and black guitar at the live auction last night, it brought in $14,000 with 100% of the proceeds going directly to research, thanks to JDRF!!

Maddison spent the night zooming around with her T1 BFF "Bee" from over at my dear friend Kris' blog. Our two silly, beautiful, energetic and giggly girls seemed to own the place last night. Their first assignment for the night was greeting Gala guests as they arrived. Yep, all they had to do was flash their beautiful smiles and light up the night! You could see their energy inspire all the guests as they were welcomed by two amazing girls, proud to represent those living with Type 1 Diabetes. BEAUTIFUL!!!

Maddison and I spent most of the night beside the stage watching the entire program with a group of other kid volunteers. The program was heart warming and motivating indeed! These JDRF moments always pull at my heart strings and get the chills pulsating through my body. Every word seems to hit with so much more magnitude when spoken through the Microphone in front of a large audience. There is no hiding from the emotions then, thats for sure! My heart was instantly turned to mush when the speakers turned their talk of fundraising into mention of Diabetes complications and children dying in their sleep from low blood sugars. OUCH. Talk about hearing the room grow silent! I was totally caught off guard. I dont remember JDRF being so quick to mention the whole "dying in their sleep" thing at their fundraising events. SHEESH. I just wanted to yank out the power to the Microphone and spare the children's little ears of such horror! I really hope this doesnt send our children to bed fearful at night.....luckily the children surrounding me were so busy being silly that Im not sure they were actually listening to the program. Each child was anxiously awaiting their turn to cross the stage with a gift in hand for each JDRF honorable mention of the night. So cute! These kids all LOVE the stage!

A very unique Family of mention this year....the "White" family. I tell you, I dont even know how these parents kept their composure as they told their story on stage! Several years ago TWO of their boys were diagnosed on the SAME DAY after being rushed to the hospital nearing DKA. TWO!!! AT THE SAME TIME!!!! Just over a year later their daughter was also diagnosed at the age of 4. -Sigh- What an amazing family!

After the program we were fortunate to have been given a VIP pass to visit Brett Micheals. The kids all loved the pictures and autographs, but mostly they enjoyed the gigantic bowl of Jelly Beans Brett Micheals gave when he heard that they were much needed for some low blood sugars next door. Too funny! I guess everywhere Brett goes he requests a bowl of Jelly Belly's in case of low blood sugars. YUM! The perfect low treatment for sure!!!!

Over the past 11 years the Promise Ball has brought in over 14.6 MILLION dollars for funding Diabetes research. I can't wait to hear what this years total will add to that amount. Dollar by dollar. Day by day. Maddison loves advocating. She loves telling our story. She loves fundraising, and she believes in a cure....isn't that all that matters? Thank you to JDRF for making this journey with Diabetes something FUN, and thank you for continuing to inspire us, motivate us and support us!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Two Years Free

Two years ago today my Dad was taken off life support.

I never thought I could move past the anger in my heart for what he endured those last weeks before we made this decision.

I never thought I would forget what it was like watching him slowly succumb to his disease over the years.

I never thought my heart would heal from the sorrow, emptiness and pain I felt losing him....

Somehow, broken hearts can mend.

Today I remember most that Dad passed away peacefully. Within minutes. With family surrounding him. He left behind a life of constant pain and illness. In those few moments of his passing, my heart was also set free.

No more seeing his pain, and watching him suffer.

He was freed.
No more complications from surgery.
No more heart disease.
No more Diabetes.
No more Neuropathy.
No more Dialysis.
No more back pain.
No more blindness.
Simply, no more. Just-Like-That.


Two years.

Two years FREE.

It seems an eternity since I've heard my Dads contagious laughter, yet it still echos in my mind. I think of him every day as I tend to my garden, for it was him that taught me the love and joy in doing so. Watching my garden grow keeps him close in my heart.

He is with me in my weakest moments, especially those times I struggle managing Diabetes for both Maddison and I. Thinking of him moves me past the emotional struggles, and keeps me focused on not letting the hard times get me down. He is on my mind with every word I speak towards Diabetes advocacy....and with me everytime low blood sugars turn scary. Thinking of him carries me through.

It is strange how your heart can miss someone so much, yet be at peace all the same.

Eternal memories.
Eternal love.
Eternal peace.

David Lee Mckim
10/20/1945 to 1/20/2009

From DAD

From DAD