This weekend we attended the JDRF Annual Gala. This is our second year attending this event and it is truly one of my favorites. You get all dressed up and witness remarkable acts of generosity and everyone in that room is there for one reason.......curing Type 1 Diabetes!
The evening starts out with a silent auction. You get to walk around a room and bid on various types of items while being served appetizers, drinks and getting to mingle with the people attending the Gala. Some are familiar faces and some are new families to T1D or people that have no ties at all and were invited by their company, family or friend.
Once the silent auction has ended you are taken to the ball room. This is where you are served dinner, listen to guest speakers and get to participate in the live auction and fund-a-cure portions of the evening. The guest speakers are always a difficult one for me. Hearing people's stories of their tie with T1D, or seeing videos of children and adults living with T1D breaks my heart. This year they had a guest speaker by the name of Bobby McMullen. This man's story is beyond REMARKABLE!
Here's the short version.....Bobby was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 12, lost his vision in college due to diabetes complications, has undergone kidney failure, dialysis, two kidney/pancreas transplants, open-heart surgery, has a pace maker, and survived aggressive cancer just to name a few! Despite that laundry list of medical complications this is not the end of his story! Shortly after losing his vision Bobby learned to ski with a guide. Within a year he qualified for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team. He spent seven years as a member of the U.S. Team, was a two-time U.S. Disabled Overall Downhill champion, and earned his spot on the Nagano Paralympic ski team. During his skiing career he also took up bike riding. He works with a “ride guide” who rides ahead of him and calls out obstacles. Since 2004, Bobby has raced in at least 25 downhill, cross-country, and 8- and 12-hour mountain bike events each year. Mountain bike riding demands extraordinary athleticism, coordination, focus and courage. Riding blind with a guide requires extraordinary faith and trust. Bobby exhibits all of these traits as he faces adversity on and off the bike. (here is a link to read more about his amazing story Bobby McMullen)
Bobby is hands down the most inspirational person I have ever met in my entire life! Everything that he has endured in his life would stop most people in their tracks and make them wave the white flag. However, he just keeps going and pushing through the barriers of the impossible, proving that NOTHING can stop you from achieving your dreams and passions.
He was the perfect way for the people in the room who's lives aren't impacted by T1D, to gain a unique insight into everything that diabetes can steal from you, how difficult it is to live with but at the same time proving that it will never define a person or stop them.
We were able to raise a lot of money at the Gala this weekend and I am forever grateful for every dollar donated. Every day we are getting closer to finding a cure but we still have so far to go! I will always do everything in my power to bring awareness and more funding to find a cure, not only for J but for all of the people just like Bobby McMullen who have fought through the worst and deserve to one day live life free of T1D. So if you have the opportunity to participate in a JDRF event or another organization striving to cure Type 1 Diabetes, please do so and help us in our mission to turn Type One into Type NONE! Please remember that every dollar counts and every dollar given brings us one step closer to a CURE!