A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives – Jackie Robinson
In life, as in baseball, each of us is certain to face adversity. These challenges can come in “high and tight” and quickly knock us to the ground. What we soon discover is that the real challenge is to find the courage to get back on our feet and back in the game; to brush ourselves off with a renewed determination and purpose. When it comes to facing adversity, I believe, we are all on the same team.
On October 21, 2011 our lives changed forever. On this day our son, Ryan, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), an autoimmune disease that affects millions of children and adults.
T1D has no cure, nor is it something Ryan will outgrow. Many believe insulin is a cure, but it is not. Each day Ryan struggles to regulate his blood sugar levels by continually balancing insulin with food and exercise. He must test his blood sugar by pricking his finger 8 to 10 times each day lest his levels go dangerously high or low. Aside from the daily challenges of living with T1D, there are many severe life-limiting or life-threatening risks including blindness, kidney failure, stroke, nerve damage, and amputation.
Ryan’s diagnosis was devastating and shocking. His mother, Kelly, and I could not talk about it with other people for months without crying. Still, we had to begin the daily regimen of disease management and the process of instilling in Ryan the strength and fortitude to not only overcome but to thrive despite his diagnosis. As a family, we had to get back up on our feet.
From a young age we are encouraged to discover and pursue our passions. On October 21, 2011 I learned that sometimes, when we least expect it, our passion and purpose finds us. On this day, I made a promise to Ryan and to myself that T1D awareness and the effort to find a cure would become part of my life’s work. No doubt, as we move forward, positive, yet to be determined turns, will be discovered that will reveal and strengthen character.
In the spirit of Jackie Robinson, you can make a difference in the life of Ryan and the millions of people living with T1D by making a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). JDRF is the leading global organization focused on T1D research. It is a 501-(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donation is 100% tax-deductible. Donations will assist JDRF in its efforts to improve the lives of every person affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treatment, and prevention of T1D.
With sincere gratitude,
Scott, Kelly, Ryan, and Katie