I started my car and enjoyed the warmth. I hadn’t realized how cold I still was until I began to feel the tingling of life coming back into my fingers. I quickly put my car in drive and hurried down the hill to catch up with the runners.
It didn’t take long to be in a caravan of people and vehicles. The slow-moving procession allowed me time to think. Quickly memories began to play out in my mind’s eye.
I thought of the groups of people talking amongst themselves. They were introducing themselves and telling their diagnosis stories. As people with diabetes do, they were comparing insulin delivery methods and sharing experiences that only other people with diabetes understand.
I remembered seeing insulin tubing peeking out of someone’s running gear. I wondered if the owner was concerned about the insulin breaking down in the tubing because of the cold.
The group continued into the heart of downtown St. John’s. The RCMP allowed safe passage through busy intersections. We were still going slow enough that it was safe to continue to allow my mind to wander a bit more.
I watched a young man jump out of the pilot truck. Being a D-Momma, I instantly panicked. Was someone low? Did they need glucose? Had a site fallen out? What was going on? It turned out that nothing was going on. The young man was taking video and pictures to continue to document the journey. He had probably been in the truck to simply warm up and was now back out with the rest of the group.
The pilot truck was filled with diabetes supplies and glucose. Sebastien Sasseville is the first person in Canada to use the new Animas Vibe. He has a pump and CGM giving him data at all times. He has a great concept of how diabetes, exercise, extreme temperatures, and food all interact in his body. He would not be low after less than an hour of activity and hours of adrenaline.
I watched as runners slowly dropped off. Cars began to take their exits and return home. I felt a lump in my throat. I had been a part of something amazing. This was the start of a journey that would touch thousands of people living with diabetes.
I don’t normally get sappy and emotional over things like this. What was wrong with me? I don’t know but there was so much hope surrounding this run. This run would not result in a cure but it showed hope. Sebastien showed that anyone can do anything that you set your mind to. He tells people that you do not need to be an athlete to challenge your body. You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest or run across Canada to challenge yourself. You simply need to set your own goals and work slowly and steadily to achieve them…no matter what limitations you may think you have.
I watched Sebastien run off with only two other people accompanying him now. I turned my vehicle onto my exit. I drove along a bit further and pulled off to the side of the road. The lump was still there. I remained moved by that picture of a young man jogging followed by one vehicle. Sometimes he would run alone but Sebastien would never be alone. Along his run, he would carry with him the well wishes of many people that he has already touched. He will gather up wishes of people that he will meet along the way. He will spread hope and awareness.
I took a breath and pulled my car back onto the road. This had been a morning that I would not forget for a very long time.