Hi friends! We are gearing up for this year's walk, our last in Fresno. (sniff, sniff) However, as this year's Walk Chair, I am excited for the direction the Fresno Walk is heading and I want to succeed in making this year's walk the best ever!!! We are teaming up with the Fresno Grizzlies to "Strike Out Diabetes" which is fitting for this baseball playing and loving family. As we do every year, Ken and I wrote a letter to share with our friends and family about our life with a child who has type 1 Diabetes. My challenge and hope is that everyone who reads this letter will click on the link and donate at least $10.00. It seems like we are pulled in every direction financially these days, but I truly believe that we all have a spare bill here and there. Ken and I save our change and random bills all year long just so that we can give a little to everyone we know is in need and the cool thing is, we never run out! God has always provided for us and for each friend, family member, and organization who is in need. Please prayerfully consider if there is anything you can do this year, Jackson NEEDS a cure. Period.
Note: Amy knows how to put a Mr. Linky at the top of the blog to click directly to our fundraising page and I will ask her to do that shortly. :)
Ok, off my little soapbox now, which I think is ok, seeing as this blog belongs half to me, LOL! Here is our letter, written from the hurting heart of this mama for her child.
Dearest friends and family,
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be on a roller coaster that you could never get off of? Forces bearing down on you from every direction, exhilaration at the top of a hill only to find yourself just seconds later plummeting to depths you couldn’t have even imagined. Finally, a break in the action… only to realize the ride is not only just begun, but will never end. In a nutshell, that is what it is like to live in a family where a child has Type 1 Diabetes.
Our son, Jackson has been courageously fighting this disease for more than 4 years now. As we passed that 4-year mark a few weeks ago, we realized that not much has changed in our life. It is an emotional and physical roller coaster of which we will never get off. Jackson wakes up every morning to finger pokes, insulin injections, highs and lows and everything in between. Diabetes goes to school with him where he must learn and grow as a student, all the while dealing with blood sugar issues. He goes to bed each night with the fear of dangerous highs that wreak havoc on his body and even more dangerous night time lows that could catapult him into a coma or even death. We turn around and do it all over again the next day and the day after that and so on… We wish somehow we could get off this ride, to simply take a break. With Diabetes there is no break. He is never going to “outgrow” his diabetes. Every decision we make regarding his care today has lasting implications for his health many years from now.
Jackson looks like any other 6 year-old who loves playing baseball, riding his bike, and learning to read. And yet, he fights the same fight every moment of his life. It would seem like it would get easier for him (and us!) to deal with it and in some ways it has. We have experienced tremendous joy in seeing the support of our friends and family as a result of Jackson’s diabetes. We have been able to educate and reach out to others who are also on this roller coaster ride with us. Jackson has touched teachers, friends, and countless others with his bravery and strength. We are blessed beyond measure to have the responsibility of raising this young man. His sweet face keeps us going in search of a cure for this horrible reality.
We come to you humbly this year to ask you for your support of our son. The past 12 months have been hard for our country and the financial impact has hit many we know personally. We even hesitated to ask for your support this year in the wake of the struggles we have watched over the past few months. However, I stumbled across this quote a few months ago and it really spoke to my heart in terms of raising money for this organization that desperately needs of our funds even in the midst of a global economic crisis. We are so close to so many breakthroughs in our search for the cure for this disease.
It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.
It has always been our hope and desire to let you, our friends and family, have a glimpse into our daily life, not only to raise money, but also to raise awareness of the disease. We want you to know that whether you give $5 or $50 or even $500, we love you and appreciate every donation because we know it comes from your heart.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF, is the #1 non-profit funder of research aimed at FINDING A CURE for Jackson’s type of Diabetes. That is the reason we participate so fully in JDRF events, namely the Walk to Cure Diabetes. This year on June 6, 2009, Jack’s Pack will join with the Fresno Grizzlies and walk to support this amazing organization for the final time while we live here. If you are interested, here are the ways you can help make a difference for Jackson.
1. If you are local, you can join our family team, known as Jack’s Pack, which consists of family and friends who collect pledges and walk with us. We create a team t-shirt each year for every member of our team, young and old and have a great time celebrating Jackson’s life at the beautiful Woodward Park here in Fresno. Just give us a call and we will get you everything you need. We want this to be our biggest team of walkers yet!!!
2. You can support our family with a tax-deductible contribution in any amount. You can either make a donation online at www.walk.jdrf.org by entering Jack’s Pack and California under Support a Walker or mail donations directly to us. Please indicate in your comments if you would like our address.
Thank you in advance for helping us reach our goal of $8,000 this year. We are blessed by the generosity shown on Jackson’ behalf.
God Bless You!
Jack’s Pack Ken, Jennifer, Kenny, Jackson, and Kaden Allred