Thursday, October 7, 2010

Baseball Dreams...

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...Cooperstown Dreams Park, New York...

The highlight of my son's life so far:  traveling to Cooperstown, New York with his baseball team this summer.

The anticipation of this trip reached its peak toward the middle of August.  Fund raising was over.  New equipment was bought.  His hard work was about to pay off!

There were fund raisers all know, selling things, having raffles, and finding local companies for sponsorship.  But above and beyond all these efforts, Big C put in some old-fashioned blood and sweat.  He mowed lawns, watered plants and even gave up some of his weekly allowance, in order to go on this trip of a lifetime.  I really was so proud of him.

The only bit of disappointment was in the fact that this would not be a vacation for the entire family.  But it would be an extraordinary memory-maker for him and Dad.

We got him all packed equipment and all.

We had really stressed to him that the trip was expensive.  And that he would have to do his part and work hard.  The money he had earned for the last many months was put away...for just that purpose.  So, you can imagine his surprise when we handed all his hard-earned dollars back to him on the week before the be his spending money.

In the middle of August, they took off to New York.  It was a long week back at home for us.  We missed them terribly.  But we got to talk nearly every night.  Team families would text some highlights (like Big C's 2 home runs!)  And, we even got to watch one of the games live, online.

When the day came to pick up Dad and Big C, we headed to LAX, ready to hear all about their week.  Well, this kid talked and talked and talked and talked some more!  It was so obvious that it had been a dream-come-true for him...

Here are some highlights from that experience:
  • bunking with the team + 4 coaches (Dad included)
  • going to the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • eating their fill and then some, at meal time
  • BBQ'ing and relaxing at team families' condos
  • trading pins with a thousand other boys
  • buying souvenirs
  • walking around a totally baseball-themed town
  • being given a special ring for the tournament
  • ranking 18th out of 100 teams
  • hitting a home run
  • hitting a 2nd home run
  • visiting Doubleday Field, home of baseball
  • simply traveling across the country to play baseball
  • spending 1 last exciting week with teammates he's played with for the past 3 years
And that, my friends, are what baseball dreams are made of...

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Walk to Remember.


We walked.  We met friends.  We smiled and laughed.  We ate.  We listened.  We celebrated.  We also sweated a whole lot!!  (Southern California had immense humidity last week!)

We walked in the Ontario, California JDRF walk to cure diabetes for the 5th year with team Kids That Care.  Our faithful teachers came out to support the team once again.  The team is headed up by our friend, K, who does so much for the cause.  She was also recently appointed junior board member for the Inland Empire chapter.  We're proud of her and proud to walk on her team!

K's mom, K and C
Kids That Care

We met friends...some, for the first time.  You couldn't miss them!  They were the largest team out there...all in black...ready to battle diabetes...Team Ninjabetic!

George had put the word out to the DOC (diabetes online community) to join the team, raise money, and celebrate...20 years to the day of his type 1 diagnosis.  He put the invite out there.  And, they came.  Boy, did they ever!  I'm not certain of the final count, but probably 12-15 of George's fellow PWDs either drove or flew cross country to walk on his team.  His team totaled over 60 people in all.

Look who we found! The Ninjabetic & Mr. Scott Johnson
Cheering Team Ninjabetic!
After the walk, we headed over to George's celebration.  I don't think I'm going to do this thing justice in writing about it.  I was quite overwhelmed.  What support and love was in that room!  We ate and talked and made real life connections with people.  

Near the end of the party, George had prepared a presentation of sorts.  Really it was his story...with diabetes.  It was a glimpse deeper into his life.  A new D mom friend and I talked as we both observed all that was going on around us.  "These people are inspirational to me," she said.  Yes.  Do these people even realize how they inspire us parents of type 1s?  They welcome us into their circle and let us see that our kids can have wonderful, full lives.  And as Sara told me:  "and that we grow up and do just fine and have fun!"  

What a celebration!
So of course, George, being the ninja that he is, included all PWDs there that day.  He invited them to stand and introduce themselves along with the number of years each has lived with diabetes...little C included. He sang his song, Not By Choice.  I had intended on taking more pictures.  But I was quite lost in the moment.  I sat there with husband and new D mom-friend and C next to me.  Thankfully, it was recorded.  You can click here to watch and listen, courtesy of Sara.

George sang his song, Not By Choice.
D Mom Emily, me & Mr. Scott Johnson
Thanks George, for including us in your celebration!

Friday, October 1, 2010


 Tomorrow is the 1st of 2 JDRF walks we will be participating in this fall.  We have walked in this one for the past 5 years.  Always, we have bee welcomed warmly onto the Kids That Care team, headed up by our friend K.  They were the first type 1 family we met, way back when...

This particular walk is super fun and family-oriented.  Kids are even encouraged to bring their dogs...which reminds me of the year we went to the walk with 1 dog and came home with 2.  (Don't ask.)

However, this year's walk has an extra special twist.  We will meet and walk with the Kids That Care team, as usual.  The special treat will come after the walk is over.

A friend from the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) will be there, walking with quite the awesome "Team Ninjabetic."  We've been invited, along with many other DOC'ers, to a wonderful celebration afterwards.  You see, George, the Ninjabetic, is celebrating his 20th diaversary...that's 20 years of living with diabetes.  Celebrating, you ask?  Yes!  Here is a clear example of  looking through positive glasses at a life with diabetes.  There is so much to celebrate!  This is what helps us stay encouraged and strong in our fight against diabetes...people like George.

In addition to meeting the Ninjabetic in person, we will also have the opportunity to "meet" many other DOC'ers.  I'm looking forward to being among so many others who understand our situation with diabetes, completely.  On a day-to-day basis, C stands very alone with this disease.  Not tomorrow.  It should be an awesome time!

I wonder if there will be bacon?