This post is an extra today — and is my submission to the Second Annual D-blog Week. Today’s topic is admiring our differences. Here goes:
It’s funny what kind of emotions a few letters will bring out in some people. JDRF. DRI. ADA. And so on. Some people feel like you choose a team and then go all competitive on them. Today, I admire some people who may have different letters as their first choice, but who are all truly on the same page when it comes to making this world a better place.
First, I salute Crystal Jackson of the ADA. I’ve known “of” Crystal for a long, long time. That’s because I raised a child who had diabetes for her entire school-time career. Crystal is both an innovator and an advocate. She helps fight for the rights of kids in school settings. She helps families figure out how to make things right for their child there. She works to make school rights for kids with diabetes a national concern. And you know, our kid spend a good part of their day in school so really, Crystal is selflessly helping all of us. I read a lot about Crystal. We may have exchanged emails once or twice. I know we are facebook friends. This fall, shortly into her freshman year in college, my daughter with D called me from her far-away Washington DC school.
“Hey Mom,” she said. “My new sorority sister says your facebook friends with her mom. What gives? Her name is . . . Crystal.” How funny that our daughters with D would end up “sisters.” I’m honored to call Crystal a friend, and so pleased she is doing what she is doing on behalf of the ADA and all of us.
The second person I’d like to shout out to is named Ellen. Her Twitter moniker is curetype1 and boy, does she mean it. But Ellen is much more than that. She is one of the first D moms I ever met (on line . . . back when I had dial up! Goodness . . . ) her kidsrpumping site helped me push our hospital to make my daughter one of their first itty-bitty kids to go on a pump. Her support is endless. She’s always available to help, suggest and find links to cool stuff in the snap of a finger. She’s outspoken. We don’t always agree on everything, but she’s a friend above all else. I aspire to be one tenth the person she is. She’s a big DRI supporter and they – and we all – are so lucky to have her. I know countless people who call Ellen family. I call her my On Line Diabete Goddess. And she is.
The third person is a team: Jeff and Brenda Hitchcock. Okay who doesn’t know Childrenwtihdiabetes.com? Jeff and Brenda (Jeff is the more public of the two but I have a good feeling Brenda works just as hard) have made it their life’s work to give people who care about someone with diabetes a place – both virtually and physically – to come together and support one another. What Jeff and Brenda have built in CWD was – and continues to be – revolutionary. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Jeff and he’s everything you would imagine. He’s a man who, along with his wife, have taken every frustration, fear and concern and channeled them into amazing good. We are lucky to have them.
So no matter what letters you say first, I feel blessed to have such people working toward a better life for my daughter.
(Special thanks to Gina for technical support for the permanently clueless on this post!)