Here I sit in front of my keyboard, so many thoughts swirling around in my overpopulated head, the smiling face of my youngest l'il LadyBug staring back at me.
Fundraising. Fundraising. Fundraising. Where do I EVEN begin?
First, allow me to admit, we've only been on this fundraising journey for two years. So people who've been doing it for far longer have my permission to role their eyes if so desired and mutter from behind a smile "this newbie has NO IDEA!"
The first year, I felt morally obligated. I had opinions about parents of diabetic children who did NOT participate in the Walk To Cure Diabetes or did NOT fundraise.
I've since fallen off my high horse. It hurt. It often does. But I've dusted myself off, and I'm staring that dang animal in the eye. Again.
Fundraising does not come naturally to me. I've never been in sales. I don't feel comfortable asking people for their money. I just don't. I mean, I can sell those charity chocolate bars, that has something tangible. This? This is slightly more complicated.
And at the same time.... this is the hope for my daughter, and hundreds of thousands of people in the world, both little and grown. So I "suck it up" and boldly fundraise like never before.
But here comes my next hiccup: it depresses me. Not in the sense that I'm hitting up my friends constantly for a donation. Though that does contribute slightly. It's the "reality check" that depresses me. All year long, we live as though we are all thriving, full of hope and potential. One foot in front of the other, until we're leaping, twirling and dancing. But you can't ask someone to donate to a cause of a happy healthy thriving child. So out come the statistics. The complications. The mother's worse nightmares. The finality of it all.
So there I am, swinging trapeze style out of the comfort zone, for the sake of my child and so many more like her. Already feeling vulnerable, wondering how strong that safety net below me is. Now I have to basically promote the complications of this "disease". Oh please. For the love of gawd, if you donate, I don't have to make myself cry. It's really THAT simple. I've only just recently been able to return the smile to my face after diagnosis. I don't cry daily anymore. Please don't make me have to go back to that place.
Aaaah, and there are even more layers of complexity. Would you doubt that for a minute? I mean c'mon.... when I've got issues, they're multi-layered! Go big... or go home.
Expectations. Expectations. Expectations.
Fundraising has never failed to boggle me with gratitude. Significant donations from the least suspected people. Please, trust me when I tell you how much that can uplift this fundraising mama. How is this an expectation, you might be asking? It's not. Here it is. It is the people you expect to donate, that do not, that you end up positively baffled. I'm not going to delve any further into offering an explanation, but I will say, that I know I am not the only fundraising mama who is affected by who chooses NOT to donate. Yup. Enough said.
And then the final component. Well, it might not be final. I reserve the right to come back and say "But wait.... there's more!"
Celebrities or public figures that are living with Type 1 Diabetes silently. Anonymously.
Do public figures have an obligation to increase awareness if they are living with a disease? To become a spokesperson of said condition? No. But that being said, if I find out, and it's one that's close to my heart (or womb in this case) and they are silent about it publically, the level of respect drops several, several notches. Sometimes it simply evaporates.
I guess not everyone can be a Mary Tyler Moore (International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and proudly Type 1) maybe the others just don't have the strength to do it.
Now the question is.... do I, and if so, for how much longer?
Of course, in closing, I'm now going to have to ask YOU to please donate to our cause. Diabetes has been around more than 2000 years. Management and life spans have benefitted dramatically from the medical miracle of insulin, that was discovered just one hundred years ago.
All fundraising profits benefit to research. Research into a cure. If we do not find a cure within Rowan's lifetime.... perhaps we can, at the VERY least, stumble onto the next diabetic miracle. Help lift the burden of living and managing this disease.
Please don't make me break out the statistics, or the photo's of Rowan when she was ill. It would be really great if I could reach our team fundraising goal, without blubbering like a baby every step of the way.
Wishing you and yours good health, a smile in your heart, and cooperative pancreases.
Rowan's Recruits: LadyBugs For Life!