One hundred years ago, she would have died.
In 1913, a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes would have been a death sentence. Insulin hadn't been discovered yet, and the best hope for surviving another 18 months would have been a strict starvation diet. As her mother, I would have been forced to watch helplessly as she agonized, and suffered through each of her remaining days.
In 1913, Henry Ford was developing a plan to increase pay for his workers while improving the manufacturing process of the Model T. Eventually his plan of using an assembly line would become a worldwide standard to provide a foundation for businesses around the globe. His vision would revolutionize the auto industry, and offer security to his team.
One hundred years ago, one hand would hold despair, while the other held hope.
In 2013, despair has been replaced by hope.
In 2013, FORD created a vehicle specifically to help keep our hope alive. The 2013 Shelby GT500 Cobra Fastback was designed to be a tribute car to Carroll Shelby which would be sold at Barrett-Jackson to benefit JDRF. Mr. Shelby was born the year after insulin was discovered, and died the year before this car would cross the auction block in Scottsdale, Arizona.
A tribute to a lifetime of hope, indeed.
JDRF is the reason my daughter wears an insulin pump. They're also the reason she has access to a Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor. If not for the tireless efforts of JDRF to push the studies that have proven how technology is beneficial in the management of Type 1 Diabetes, our insurance company would never have approved its use, and we'd never be able to afford to pay for it on our own. The Artificial Pancreas Project gives greater hope for even better management tools, while research continues down the path of cure and preventative therapies.
But none of it...hope for survival, better treatment options, and a cure...none of it would be possible without the kindhearted generosity of people like you.
As I woke her up, pricked her finger, and measured out her cereal, we knew it was just a matter of time before your heart would cross our path. As we made sure she had enough supplies for the day, and double checked to be sure her pump was holding enough insulin, we knew our day would end with an emotional rush of gratitude. As I watched the coverage on television from my home, I couldn't help scanning the faces in the crowd, wondering which one would propel our optimism into the future.
She took her place beside Mr. Shelby's car, carrying a sign to remind the world that she's alive.
She's BUILT TOUGH!
But insulin isn't a cure.
The rush of excitement during the auction has become familiar. You'd think, by now, that I wouldn't get so emotional, but I can't help it. As soon as I see the car, tears well in my eyes. As the bidding numbers grow, my heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness. Our family has been witness to incredibly profound generosity, and it serves as a constant reminder of the goodness that exists in the world.
This year, my heart wanted to reach through the TV to hug you. There...at the very end...beyond even what the video clip shows, I saw you wipe a few tears. In that moment, I knew you believed in hope too.
I'm not sure how to thank someone for offering such a momentous gift to families, like ours, with a connection with Type 1 Diabetes. Beyond the dollar amount, it's the gift of being blessed. The gift of believing in a better tomorrow. The gift of knowing we aren't alone.
Thank you for sharing this journey, and reminding us that hope is alive and well.