Every year I sit at my computer, and try to think of a way to plea for your donations and support for a cause that hits very close to my heart, because she is my heart.
It's all about a now, 8 year old little girl who has the heart of gold. So do I tell you the story of her diagnoses? Do I talk about the terrible side effects of living with diabetes? Do I tell you about her crying in the car saying she doesn't want to be different? Or do I talk about the hope of a mother wanting a better tomorrow for her daughter?
Many of you know me, you know my Presley and you know her story, but for those of you who don't, let me share. July 25th 2007 was a normal morning in our house, normal with the exception of the test I was taking my 18 month old daughter in to have done at 9:00 that morning. I pondered about how silly I felt to be having her tested for diabetes. I mean, Diabetes? But with her increase in drinking, her excessive urination, and her happy smiley personality changing to a sleepy, sad girl, I thought "better safe than sorry" Sitting in the waiting room, holding my lethargic... sick, sick girl, I still thought I was being ridiculous. The moment I knew, that moment the nurses face changed from certainty everything was fine, to knowing it no longer was... is a moment that makes me cry today. I didn't understand, it was a take your breath away moment. I took in a deep breath and I just sat there, I held it, unable to release, because I knew once I did, I would fall apart, and if I fell apart, it was real.
I remember the weeks and months following her diagnoses, people not quite being sure what to say. They would try to be positive, and encouraging, but often times it came across as belittling and dismissive of the seriousness of the diagnoses she was given. I remember people being positive and saying "Oh she'll be fine... medicine has come so far, she'll be fine.. you got this" I remember giving a smirky smile, raising my eye brows and often times walking away. It's true, medicine has come a long way, but she's still more likely than you and myself to endure all the awful side effects that come with living with diabetes.... and for so long. I remember people saying to me "well it could be worse... she could have..." I knew people were trying to make me feel better, but guess what? I didn't want to feel better. I wanted to be mad, I wanted to be angry, and I wanted to be sad for my little girl who was now getting upwards of 3 shots a day, and who had taken to sleeping on her hands to avoid getting checked while dreaming. Because it's true, things could be worse, but you know what... they could be a hell of a lot better too.
I remember the first time we had to call 911 because after kissing her goodnight and tucking her into bed, her BG dropped dangerously low and she began to have a seizer. I remember running to her, her tiny body shaking, her screaming.... that scream. The scream of terror, she was so scared, her eyes were open, but she wasn't there. She cried out for her daddy, she turned her head as if she was looking for him all while her tiny body shook uncontrollably. I remember the call, I remember the sound of the sirens coming down the street. Hearing them, and knowing they were coming for us, coming for her. It's another take your breath away moment.
I don't think anybody can truly know what it feels like to have your child be diagnosed with such a life altering, and life THREATENING disease if you haven't lived it. I can't say to you "Try to imagine" because trust me, you can't. Even if you know her, and love her, you can't understand how utterly heartbreaking it is as her mother. As a mother we want two things for our babies, to be Happy.. and Healthy. If you ask any mother what she wishes for her child.. Happy, and Healthy will be her answer. If I could bear the burden of this for her forever, I would.
Don't get me wrong, our life isn't a dark cloud hanging over our heads dripping sad diabetes blood drops. Diabetes is hard, it's hard for her, it's hard on those who truly love her. Of course I hope to make everyone who reads this, truly understand how difficult, and heartbreaking diabetes is. How helpless you feel as a parent not being able to take away the hurt and heartache your child feels. BUT through this all, she is an amazingly loving, and compassionate little girl. Our lives have taken on a new normal. One that revolves around numbers. It includes, finger pokes, insulin injections, pump site changes and a lot of careful planning and decision making.
We started fundraising for the American Diabetes Association after Presley's first diabetes camp. It was the first time she was free from me being her nurse. She was around other kids like her, she wasn't the ONE in a room checking her blood but one of many, she blended in, she felt.... normal. After camp and after the assistance the American Diabetes Association gave us while getting ready to send Presley to school I knew that they had won my heart as a mommy who didn't just want a cure for my daughter, but wanted a better today for her as well. I've talked about hope, and as a mother I hope many things for my girls. Happy and Healthy... remember? I hope for a better tomorrow for Presley, I hope a cure is found so that at the very least it will help stop this disease from happening to another child, but we can't live on hope. SO we have to live in the now, and in the today and now Presley needs Camp, she needs a place to go where she can feel normal. Where she is safe with other children like her. She needs to be safe at school, and she needs to be reminded that there is an organization out there fighting for her, and others like her. It's because of the today and now, AND my hope as a mother for her future that we are so very passionate about the American Diabetes Association. If I could get on my knees and beg.. I would. But I can't, all I can do is try to write a letter, with sweet pictures of my daughter who's been living with a disease for far to long, since she was a baby and hope it moves you to action.
Have you been moved into action?? If so, you may wonder how you can help. There are THREE ways you can help
1. Donate to our walk team Presley's Hope
2. Want to do more than donate, want to JOIN us in our efforts to fundraise and raise awareness? You can take your donation and make it grow by telling YOUR friends and family about Presley, and have them donate to her team. Join our team and raise awareness!
3. Can't be there on walk day but you still want to help raise awareness and money in Presley's honor
What we can do TOGETHER is so much greater than what we can do alone