Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why I Support The Diabetes Research Institute

Last May, as I was randomly checking out my local online newspaper, an advertisement caught my eye. It was an ad that was posted in the paper about the 2010 Annual Blair County Diabetes Walk.

Until this day, I didn't even KNOW that there were walks that close to me! In fact, the closest walk I could find between October 2008 when Lenny was diagnosed, and May 2010, was the  JDRF one that was held about 45 minutes to an hour drive away. That was simply too far for me to go, especially since I don't drive and would be asking someone to take me and the kids to and from there!

So, on this May day, I was overjoyed to hear about a walk that was held only about 20 minutes from where I live! I immediately called the number listed on the ad and spoke with a wonderful, inspirational woman, Lisa.

The man standing in the back with the green JETS jersey on (in a sea of black and gold! LOL!) is Tom!

Since then, Lisa and I have talked numerous times. She is who introduced me to The Diabetes Research Institute, as, like I told her, I've done some fundraising in the past for the JDRF, but was looking for something closer to home, people I could connect with on a regular basis, etc etc., not to mention, know where my money was going and how it was being used!

After a few discussions with her, she introduced me to a man named Tom. Tom is a man, just like any other father, who also has children with Type 1 Diabetes. Two of his children, in fact, have Type 1 Diabetes. To the DRI, he is the Vice President... but to us, he is "just a dad".

My first conversation with Tom, I basically told him that I was battling inside which organization I wanted to support. Each offered their own benefits, and focused on various diabetes related issues at hand, but I was looking for a place I could "call home" so to speak. Surprisingly, his reaction to this statement was the complete opposite of that I had expected! It was a warm, caring reaction. It wasn't one that you would think a sales person would try to pitch to you. Instead, he understood my feelings and concerns. He made me feel that if I ever needed anything, even just an ear to listen, that I could give him a call anytime.

As time passed, I was able to talk with other people who worked at the DRI. I still hadn't made a final decision if I wanted to call the DRI my "home", but as more and more time passed, and the more people I spoke with either on the phone or in email, the more I realized just how much these people at the DRI cared about the kids living with diabetes...... cared about my son.

As I was chatting with a guy named Brian, the Director of Special Events at the DRI one day, I told him that I had made the decision to support the DRI. I had found my "home". He asked me, out of curiosity, why did I decide on the DRI. My immediate response was:

“I sawsomething a few months back on the DRI website that just blew me away. Reallymade me sit back and think about the differences between the DRI and all theother organizations supporting diabetes. I’m paraphrasing of course, butit was along the lines of "We are dedicated to putting ourselves out ofbusiness by finding a cure for Diabetes". I think at that very moment, Isat back and realized, the DRI, over all other organizations I have read about,or participated in some way shape or form, the DRI really and truly cared aboutfamilies and kids like mine, and the people I have met from the DRI; you, Lisa,Tom, are the very people who have literally changed my life. When I can hear inTom's voice, sheer frustration when I tell him about the battles we face/facedwith Lenny's school this year, hear other parents talk about how he choked upwhen they were talking to him about their child's diagnosis,  I know in myheart I am in the right place, and supporting the right people. I never, EVER,got this kind of a reaction and response from any other organization. It’s anoverwhelming feeling of passion, on both the DRI's part, and on mine.”
(This is not to say that there is anything wrong with any other organization out there. I just felt "right at home" with those at the DRI.)

That was my reasoning for supporting the DRI almost 1 year ago. As time has passed, my reasons have evolved. Grown. Still with the same base reasoning, though ones with much deeper meanings now.

Each and every person I have spoke with from the DRI, or who support the DRI, have always been so friendly, helpful, knowedgable, and dependable.

Lisa and Tom have helped my family on many different aspects, from fundraising ideas to school issues, and even have been there just as a friend when I needed someone to lean on and/or get advice from.

Brian has always been able to make me laugh. Has always been a phone call away when I needed anything for fundraiser ideas or materials. Heck, just today he made me laugh by calling me the facebook posting queen! LOL!

And I must not forget, Dr. Ricordi. I have messaged him a few times to ask for his insight about different things I've read about, or heard about regarding diabetes and/or "possible links" to diabetes and wanted some solid verification from someone I knew I could trust regarding these concerns. He has always been so kind and helpful to my questions.

And finally, let's not forget about the PEP Squad. This facebook fanpage has helped me connect with other families with diabetic kids. Has helped me get advice on different things regarding raising a diabetic child, and has shown me and my family the support we had been searching for.

So, why do I support the Diabetes Research Institute?

Because of the people involved. Because I know the money I raise or randomly donate is going toward a CURE for my son and the thousands of other children living with Type 1. Because of the support we receive from them, from  the men that sit in the "big chairs" all the way down to the families that support them and everyone in between. Because I know, in my heart, they truely care about my son and all the other kids living with this disease. And because they are the only organization I have found that solely focus on finding a cure for these kids.

To learn more about the Diabetes Research Institute visit their website or click here to read their brochure.

Read more about why others support the Diabetes Research Institute.. from celebrities and supermodels to "d-moms" and Diabetes Diplomats here.

Join the PEP Squad--Parents Empowering Parents!

Become a "Diabetes Diplomat"!


Lora said...

Hmm... I will have to look into them.

Dawn said...

If you ever get a chance to meet or talk with someone that works at the DRI, I'm sure you will fall in love! They are some of the nicest, most helpful people I have met from an organization! And they really and truely care about our kids! Check out the links I posted on this post and let me know if there's anything I can do/answer for ya hun. I just LOVE the DRI and everyone involved there!