Tag Archives: Advocacy

Running Shoes. Just click your heels twice.

heart on top l final 2 two shoes one mission

Alright, I’ll give it to you straight, I have spent the last couple of hours emptying my heart onto this page, split it wide open, raw, maybe too raw. So I proofed it, questioned it, changed it, proofed it again and it just doesn’t feel like its ready to be shared. What I will share with you is the last couple of paragraphs…

“Later that night I laced up. I knew that the one thing that would smooth my edges would be to put on my running shoes and just work it out, physically, just let it all go.

My running shoes have come to represent so much for me. It doesn’t matter if I walk in them or run in them, heck I can just put them on and they change how I feel.

They offer me a moment to myself, a moment where I don’t have to explain, or share… just be. The only fight is between me and myself. Nothing to prove. I can cry if I want to and blame my teary eyes on the wind ūüėȬ†

I can just run it out.

When I won my first pair of running shoes it was as if I was holding Dorothy’s red slippers. A feeling like that is to be shared, duplicated, given…to others.

I have no doubt that every time a Mom laces up a pair of running shoes they will feel the magic that they hold. What a beautiful way to not only help, but to empower.”

I believe in Heart Strides. I hope you will to. Please follow the links below to find out how you can help support our efforts, help moms lace up for life.

https://www.bonfirefunds.com/heart-stride-two-shoes-one-mission

https://fundly.com/running-shoes-for-moms

Follow us on FB-

https://www.facebook.com/heartstrides

 

Z first look at CO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Duped.

got dupedSo…I got duped. We all got duped. The T1D community fell prey to information that was not true. Turns out that the blog and information that was recently shared by many of us was not true.

I imagine were not the only community to be duped. The write/writers of the blog professed to be teachers, having a child with down syndrome, one with T1D and if I remember correctly a set of triplets. That’s a lot of heart strings getting tugged.

Sadly it happens. We live in a fast-paced, media savvy culture, news travels fast, good or bad.

Mad? No. Frustrated? Maybe. Just wondering how we can protect ourselves in the future, so as a parent, a blogger and also as a community we don’t perpetuate the untrue and the drama. That we always honor the lives lost with truth and dignity, that we support families as they grieve and at the same time we continue to celebrate our strength, our successes and our commitment to a cure.

The truth is, duped or not, we still need a cure, I still have nights that I am worrisome about Logan’s numbers and I still get up and check him.

I won’t lie, the blog post in question got to me, I was feeling raw, tired and mad at T1D. I read that a child had died in their sleep from a low and I thought “Enough already!“.

At first I hesitated to post blue candles, or to even mention death but I did. I should have listened to my gut but my heart took over and that’s what they were counting on.

Early on I had decided not to share those stories, or the blue candles, not that they didn’t matter, of course they matter, but I struggled with it for different reasons.¬†Even though I chose not to share the blue candles, when I saw them they were always a reminder of how strong this community is, how loving and supportive they are and how we grieve together and stay strong. Together.

The good news, yes, there is always good news, is that it has us talking. The T1D community is coming together, bringing their ideas and their thoughts to the table so something like this doesn’t happen again.

We are talking about how to find a way so that those who want to post blue candles can and do. We are talking about how we feel, where we need to make some changes and how we may need some type of protocol or etiquette as Moira McCarthy Stanford mentions in her most recent post.

So, duped? Yes. But you know what? We still need a cure. There will always be people out there that will thrive in the drama and who will try to get in the cracks of our armor, it happens but it doesn’t define us or our intentions. It doesn’t stop us.¬†

I don’t like that it happens. It takes our breath away, we struggle, we squirm, we think “How could they? How could we?”,¬†but we are all human, we trust, we love, we care, we believe…and we don’t want to lose another child to the complications of T1D.

Don’t be mad or sad, be empowered, be vigilant, be determined. Take pause, be cautious, but don’t stop. This is not a reflection of your judgement but of your heart, you trusted, you cared and now you move on.

And you know what else? I am relieved, relieved that the post in question was not true. That a T1D child did not die in their sleep. That above all else, is what matters.

So duped? Yes. But it doesn’t change the truth, my truth or Logan’s truth, that T1D is serious and that we need a cure.

trueseeker

This happens.

blue_candlesI have written and deleted this post more than four times today.

Too many thoughts, too many words, too much emotion.

I wrote about being vulnerable, drama, fear, pity, judgement, and frustration.

I wrote about good friends, family, safe spaces, sage women, trusting your gut, taking that risk and helping others.

I had a point.

I had a message.

I had a goal but in the end I realized that it was just ‘stuff’.

All I really wanted to say is that my heart aches for this family. That this could happen to anyone, we could have been these parents, that child could have been Logan.

We weren’t.

He wasn’t.

This child is ‘our’ child, the T1D community has a family that is grieving, we grieve with them and for them. Tonight like so many other parents will be doing with their own children, I will check on Logan more than normal. I will curse T1D.

Do I think about this happening? Yes, but not as often as I used to.

Not that long ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with a sick feeling in my stomach that something was wrong. I immediately went and checked on Zoe and Logan.

For the first time since his diagnosis I checked to see if he was breathing.

Breathing.

I checked to see if he was breathing.

My first thought was to check his breathing, not his blood sugar.

It scared me.

A lot.

That night I scooted him over and slept next to him. Not because I was nervous, but because I was grateful.

Insulin is not a cure.

I usually don’t share articles about deaths due to T1D complications. I’m not sure why. I am completely and utterly aware of this reality. Maybe it’s because I want to be that person that believes and trusts that there is a way, that there is a cure coming…before it happens again.

This is why we fund raise, why we advocate and why we keep going and why we are so grateful for all that you do to help us find a cure.

Believe me, there will be times when we yell ‘TAG! Your it!’ because we will be tired, we will need your help and we will be so happy that you are there on the front lines with us.

So hug your kids tight, unplug, share your gifts with this world, be nice to each other, hold your judgments, forgive, be gentle with yourself, and fight the fight, whatever it may be.

You matter. You make a difference. Use your power for good. Life is too precious to hold back.

And remember…this happens.

Bless this family, their friends, and their children, may they feel loved and supported during this time.

http://laurenandandyplus5.blogspot.com/2013/10/to-jillian-ivy.html

 

 

 

Turn back the clock. Please. No. Don’t.

M tony holding onto wet logan

Phew. I have found myself in a new place with new stuff. Startled by it? Yes. Uncomfortable? Always.

But what’s a girl to do? Well, it’s obvious isn’t it? She jumps right in there and figures it out.

I know exactly where I was when it happened and I know what started it. I saw a group of women with their cherub faced toddlers, they were laughing and playing, appearing to be fearless and care-free, and it came out of nowhere.

In an instant, and for the first time that I can remember, I wanted to go back to that time in Logan’s life before he had Type 1, before he had a speech disorder, before he would experience a roller coaster of being on the spectrum, before he would say, “Mom, please take the diabetes out of my body” and years later , “Mom, I’m afraid that people will pick on me because of my personality.”

Phew, there it is again, even as I write this, out of nowhere, it gently finds the hairline cracks in my armor and splits it wide open and makes me vulnerable. Parenting is not for the faint at heart that’s for sure.

But it’s all good. Really.

No really. Trust me. I have a plan. I have a checklist.

The last month has brought more than mud to the surface. Emotions have been raw, doubts were looming, challenges were, well, just that…challenging. I had to dig a little deeper. I had to let go. I had to remind myself that being too far in the past or too far in the future holds no power for being here right now. And I needed a nap.

When I get uncomfortable, when things surprise me, I’m reminded of who I am, who I’m not, what I’m made of and what gets me in trouble and what gets me out of trouble.

I’m stubborn, just ask my family. I’m determined. I am forever hopeful. I’m dependable.

I’m a hugger.

I’m a lover not a fighter, and not to mislead you because there are things and people that I will fight for until the end of time.

I will fight for a cure. Without a doubt.

I don’t like conflict but I know that finding a solution can get messy and it’s not always easy.

I want everyone to be heard, everyone to be honored.

I’m that person that always thinks of something to say in my car on the way home. I see both sides. Well, I try to see both sides. No one’s perfect.

I can be indecisive though I’ve been known to take off running and never look back.

I believe in people and in kindness. I believe that it is the little things that are really the big things.

Mean people get me down.

Rude people make me want to scream. In fact, I’ve been known to swear at them from the safety of my car, my laundry room and while hiking on a trail. Not a shocker given my feelings about conflict.

Being fierce both scares and inspires me.

I want everyone to have at least one person in their life that has their back, always remembering that there is strength in numbers.

I want a cure.

For everyone.

Is it possible? I have to believe.

Am I naive? Maybe.

I know that when Logan was born it never crossed my mind that we would be advocating for anything, much less a cure for Type 1 and raising awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

You know what else I didn’t know, was how amazing it would all be.

Granted, at times life can be exhausting, frustrating, and all of those things that make me want to crawl into a cave and never come out. But what fun would that be? Well, lets be honest, we all need a break now and then, so there are days where that cave looks like a week on the beach with nothing but sunshine and rainbows.

So, this is my check list of sorts, bringing me full circle when life catches me by surprise.

I get uncomfortable, retreat, look at where I’ve been…no secret solution, just time and the willingness to sit with it for a bit and let the dust settle.

I admit it’s hard to go back¬†there¬†sometimes, but being uncomfortable is good in so many ways, it reminds me of what I have to work on and it gives me a glimpse of all that I cherish.¬†

Would I do anything differently given the chance to turn back the clock? I don’t know.

Well, that’s a lie because I would love to kiss those chubby cheeks, snuggle into their necks until they squeal, and scoop them up as their little legs try to carry them away in sheer delight.¬†

The truth is there is nothing that I could have done to spare Logan his diagnosis. What I can do is to keep advocating, raising awareness and to love everything about this challenging chaotic life.

I’m getting better at giving myself permission to feel uncomfortable. I’m quicker to get in the thick of it, trusting that I will come out stronger and more content.¬†

IMG_2342For me, the real beauty and power lies in the emerging, the rising up, the looking forward and celebrating all that brought me to this moment. Squeezing through those tight places and feeling so good when I reach the other side.

And this moment, it’s just another reminder to keep advocating, fund raising, connecting and serving… not only for my family and for myself, but for others, because though I speak for myself here, I know that I am not alone and we are in this together.

Remember this…

ImageOne of my new favorite quote images. I’m staying the course, getting ready for the JDRF ride in Aug. Sharing my post from my other blog, Miles4Moms, simply because I am running out of time, getting ready for a dear friend to arrive and looking forward to her visit. She knows we live in this house but it’s pretty lived in and I need to get cleaning! Enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by.

http://miles4moms.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/you-are-going-to-fall/

I said bold, not bald, right?

st baldricksWow, where does the time go? 2013 has no intentions of slowing down, does it? I tried to resist its determination and regroup when it caught me off-guard, but in the end I just had to surrender and hold on. So far I like where it has taken me. A little faster than I had anticipated but I imagine I will get used to its speed. I hope.

In the past few years I haven’t really thought much about New Years¬†resolutions¬†but this year I quietly made one for myself, to be bold. For me this means to reach as far as I can reach and then reach a little further.

BeBold-Summit

The mission of this blog has been to raise awareness for Type 1 Diabetes, to share our family’s experiences and we hope, to inspire advocacy for the T1D community and beyond. Keeping this in mind, when I recently heard about a fundraising event for childhood cancer I knew that it was an opportunity I wanted to be a part of. So on March 16th I will participate in the St. Baldrick’s fundraising event where I will have my head shaved. I’m hoping that this counts towards my bold quota.

Most of you here are familiar with my running blog, so as not to take up too much of your time I will include the link to my most recent post. I hope you have a few minutes to check it out if you haven’t already done so. Between you and me, I’m hoping for Alien fighter meets Annie Lennox, with a little G.I. Jane thrown in the mix. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

http://miles4moms.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/alien-fighter-or-conehead/

Call me naive but I believe we all have the power to make a difference.make-a-difference In some way or another we all advocate, we share our stories and we inspire. ¬†A cure for Type 1 diabetes will always be my hearts desire. If I could shave my head to find a cure for T1D, I would live my life forever bald, if that was all it would take. But it takes more than that, I know that, and you know that. We can’t do it alone, that’s why I advocate for others when I can, however I can, especially when it makes me reach further than I thought I could. It might get uncomfortable, but I believe that’s when all the magic happens. I mean seriously, shaving my head? There’s bound to be magic in that moment.

A while back someone had sent me an e-mail, asking me why I advocate for others and why wouldn’t I just focus all of my efforts on T1D. Good question. Easy answer.

When I advocate for, let’s say, pediatric cancer, organ donation, epilepsy,¬†Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, or autism- I am also advocating for T1D. I don’t do it for the sole purpose of exchanging information. I do it because I care and because I believe that we are all connected.¬†

For me, the gift in advocating is not the exchange of information, statistics or outcomes, it is the exchange of compassion, of understanding and love, it’s really that simple. It’s the moment when I see myself in someone else, when I catch my breath and my heart stretches. It’s when I’m talking with a mom and I am gently reminded that we are stronger together.¬†

Making these connections, supporting and celebrating ¬†mom’s, their children, their families, it’s all about the human spirit and coming together to be a bridge that helps all of us¬†get to where we need to go. Whatever it is, whether we are looking to find a cure, to find compassion or to find kindness, I want to be a part of it. I don’t want to be afraid to do something, afraid to help a friend or a stranger, or afraid that I won’t have enough left to give to my own family. There is enough to go around for everyone. Believe that what you have to offer is enough.

The most beautiful thing about these connections is that they are not made by me, not really. I ¬†don’t intentionally seek them out. Yes, I intentionally advocate, but I didn’t sit down one day and make a list of causes or people that I wanted to advocate for and then contact them. It usually goes like this- I read something, I see a¬†YouTube¬†clip, maybe a name keeps popping up, a song, and something stands out and makes a connection for me.

Sometimes someone makes an introduction, it feels random, out of the blue, I might not ‘get it’, but I pay attention to it, I listen. Sometime there’s a little rush, a flicker, you know…goosebumps, and that’s how I know that this is someone I want to advocate for, a cause I want to support and that there is something special in this connection. I take the risk, I reach out, I offer, and the path appears, the sharing deepens, the bond strengthens, the heart sings. Maybe it is for a brief moment, or maybe a lifetime, either way I don’t want to miss it.

serendipity

Selfishly, I want to surround myself with these amazing families, these incredible women that are¬†strong¬†beyond their belief and children that set our hearts on fire. I want to show my children that the world out there, the one that is just waiting for them, is filled with people that care and that it’s not just all about us, it’s about all of us.

I am grateful to be connected with so many wonderful people that continue to inspire and encourage me to be bold, to be brave. I can only hope that someday I can be that person for someone, to encourage them, to honor and celebrate the power they have to make a change.

So there you have it, why I advocate for others and all the magic that comes with it. Maybe more than you needed to know, maybe not. ¬†I can’t wait to hear about your bold moments, your brave moments, the one’s that surprise you as much as they delight you. I have no doubt you will be brilliant.

hey-you-can-do-it

We are all connected…Heart Garland

DSCN1135I wasn’t sure what we would tell Logan and Zoe, much less the details of the tragic events. So, when Zoe asked me if someone was shot at a school, well, I was a bit rattled. My parenting skills skipped town, my heart ached and my mind raced searching for answers.

She had overheard some parents talking after school while she was practicing cartwheels with her friends. I love Zoe for her attentiveness, but in this moment I had only wished that she had been more distracted by the giggling of her friends than the tears of a mother.

In the end we talked with Logan and Zoe about what happened at Sandy Hook. It was not easy, trying to find the words to explain to them about the depth of it all without scaring them or adding worry to their thoughts.

We left the conversation feeling that we had covered what needed to be covered, though more than we had anticipated. As the weekend rolled along there were other moments when it resurfaced, innocently giving Zoe a glimpse of what had happened. The front page of a newspaper laying on a table at Panera’s. An overwhelmed mother talking with her friend near the kids Christmas movies at Target. In that particular moment I couldn’t react fast enough to get Zoe away from the conversation, leading to me giving the other Mom the ‘stink-eye’ with a “What are you doing?!!” glare.

It was in the car that the conversation transpired, Zoe wondering how someone could be so ‘mean’, How could they hurt those kids? Why did he go to the school? Why? Why? Why? Logan sat quietly in the seat next to her, I watched their faces, my heart ached for those families and I could see my children struggling with it all, internally, externally, searching.

As we talked about it, I wanted them to remember that there is always something that can be done. We all want to turn back time and save those children and families from heartache and loss. But we can’t, so what do we do? As a society, that’s up to us, the adults, that’s not what this moment was about. It was about helping my children feel safe and showing them to keep putting good back in the world, to remind them how much good is out there and that together we can help each other heal. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, what’s most important is that it is a heartfelt, loving one.

It all felt so ‘big’, what to do, how to help. My own mind raced with thoughts about the families, the children, the community. There were no words to express the range of emotions that we were all feeling, trying to grab onto whatever it is that keeps us centered.

While searching for ways to translate it all to my seven and nine year old, I tried to explain to them that sometimes when there is a big crack in the pavement you have to fill in the all of the little cracks first. That all of the little things help fix the big things. I could see their bodies relax, their faces soften as they eased back into their seats.

I asked them what would make them feel better if this would have happened to our family. They both said hugs first and then as we talked about our family blog and how we have been sending out hearts to raise awareness for T1D they shouted out, we could send hearts!! Perfect I thought, something that they could do and it would help them feel like they had control of what was happening.

I wasn’t at all surprised when they started asking if they could ask their friends and family to send hearts too. Hmmmmm…I explained that it might be a little tricky because for many reasons, and good ones, not everyone will have the same information about what happened, so we might want to just ask a few people to join us. They were persistent and truly believed that others would want to join us, so I sent out a few e-mails, shared with a few friends and you know, they were right.

As the names started to pour in, I thought to myself, “Kids have it right, they blurt things out, they cut to the chase and they speak from the heart, no filters”, though sometimes I wish they had a little bit of filter, like when we are in the check-out line and they suggest that the lady should use the white stuff that I use for her mustache.

At first we thought to just send a box of hearts, then there were so many names we thought to make a garland of hearts. A collection of love, thoughts and prayers sent together, strung together by one ribbon, feels right. We are all connected, a garland would be perfect.

In a short amount of time we have received over 200 names and they keep coming. They have come from all over the United States, Canada, India, Australia, Japan and Guatemala.

So, join us! We invite you to send your name, city, and state to be added to one of our hearts. (It doesn’t have to be your full name, whatever you feel comfortable with, though we would like to add a location to show support from all over, not just from where we are from).

Feel free to share this post with friends and family, we’ll be taking names until Dec. 25 at Midnight (MST). All you need to do is leave your info. here or you can e-mail it to me at ddricke@gmail.com. We’ll make sure that your love and good vibes are added to our garland, and we’ll be sure to post a photo of the garland when it is completed.

Thank you for considering it and for sharing it. I am grateful to all of those that have contributed in helping this parenting moment slowly shift from a very difficult conversation to a movement of love and kindness. We look forward to adding you to our family of hearts! and since we can’t hug everyone as Logan and Zoe so eagerly suggested, we send you hugs from here, may we all continue to move forward in kindness and grace.