We all have seen how insanely popular the Ice Bucket Challenge has become. Stories of how much money ALS has raised since this went viral versus how much money it had raised in previous years are astounding. What is equally moving is the stories of families touched by ALS. I dare you to watch any of them without a box of Kleenex.
Last week on the Diabetes Advocacy Facebook page, I shared with you Moira McCarthy’s thoughts on this phenomenon and whether diabetes should be doing something similar. Reading about how ALS had touched her family brought tears to my eyes and I was so glad that my son “only has diabetes”.
I have not watched many of the ice bucket videos. I have seen a few that have auto-started on my Facebook feed but for the most part I simply have said “I hope that they are donating” and “Better them than me but it is for a good cause.” There are a few from friends who state that they have a personal connections to ALS that I do make sure that I play.
Maybe that is why I played this next video. It was from a Facebook Friend who had a child with diabetes who said that ALS had come to call. I was curious. Would it be her father? Grandmother? I was sure that it would be sad but I had been following the many blessings in their lives. They had recently moved across the country into a dream house. They had enjoyed an amazing summer spent traveling throughout this great country of ours. Life was very good for them, wasn’t it? After listening to her tell her family’s story, well let’s just say that I was again left very grateful that all my son had to deal with was diabetes.
I know that diabetes kills. I know that diabetes is serious. I know that things can change in the blink of an eye. In the past month we have seen depression kill Robin Williams. We have seen countless stories of how ALS has impacted and destroyed lives. I have seen a family devastated when a father tried to save his drowning daughter only to be killed instead. Life and death happen. We deal with the cards that we are dealt but some of us have greater challenges to face than others.
In a blink of an eye it could be worse–so much worse. Diabetes can be cruel but life with diabetes is getting better. Highs are still brutal in their destruction of the body. Lows are still deadly especially when they happen at night or when a person with diabetes is alone. There is hope however. Technology has created major changes.
We have the bionic and artificial pancreas projects. We have CGMs, rapid insulin, and smart pumps. We have apps to count carbs and apps to get us out of trouble. We have a wonderful community of people living with diabetes who get it and support us every day. Diabetes sucks but after seeing what others live with…well I will take diabetes with a bucket of gratitude.