I met Daddy a few days before his 18th birthday. He was ginormous! He was 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighed close to 250 pounds. I told him within hours of meeting him that I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley.
We started dating a month later and I had the distinct pleasure of watching him play football. He was awesome. He was a tank. It was beyond cool!
But something happened a few months into 1989. He started to lose weight. He went from 250 pounds to under 180. He was close to becoming skin and bones. It was a scary. He had no idea what was wrong. Neither did his doctors. For months, they tested him for different things and could not figure out what was happening.
Then, one day, he became so sick that he was hospitalized. His friend, Joe's, mom after hearing all of his symptoms asked a question that would change Daddy's life forever: "Have they tested for diabetes?"
Joe's mom, Ida, had lived with Type I diabetes her entire life and the symptoms Daddy had were very much like the symptoms she experienced when her diabetes was not under control. Sure enough, a blood test confirmed that Daddy's blood glucose level was over 600. His doctor told him that he should have been in a coma. We were all stunned. There was no history of diabetes in Daddy's family, at least not Type I. To Daddy, it was like a death sentence. No more football, no more real life.
I won't share more of Daddy's story. It's really his to share. Needless to say, he lived his life as if he was invincible and diabetes couldn't hurt him. If he could go back and change his behavior, I know he would do it in a heartbeat. Those years of not taking care of himself have resulted in major health problems today.
A few years ago, before Gracie and Luke were even imagined, Daddy started walking in the America's Walk for Diabetes. The Walk raises money for the American Diabetic Association. The ADA uses the money to help search for a cure for diabetes. Over the past 4 years, he and his team have raised over $10,000 for diabetes research.
This weekend is the big weekend. Step Out for Diabetes Walk is Sunday in Santa Clarita. This year, our team is small. This year, people have fewer funds to share and Daddy is very far from his goal. He lowered it this year, because he knew people would not be able to help as much as in the past. His goal is to raise $2000. So far, he has raised only 61% of that amount.
So here's the thing: He only needs $784 to reach his goal. If you read this and his story touches you in any way or if you know of someone whose life has been affected by diabetes, will you please help? Any amount will do. Maybe you will be the person who adds $4 to decrease the amount he needs to $780 or maybe you'll decide to be the person who adds $34 to decrease it to $750. It doesn't matter. Every amount is welcome.
Will you help? Click here to visit his sponsorship page.
Oh, and if you are free, come Step Out with us this Sunday. Gracie and Lukie will be walking, too (until they get bored and want to be held...at the same time...by me).
UPDATE: Thank you to everyone! Daddy only has $289 more to raise. If you can, won't you please help?!