On Saturday I donated my performance at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Eradicating Type 1 Diabetes is something that should have happened long before the 21st Century arrived, but here we all are, with tiny children still having to endure many needles a day for a disease we should have beaten by now. My husband was diagnosed with Type 1 when he was 14 years old; most of the kids we met on the Walk were diagnosed much, much younger.
It rained right up until we were done, which was at 2:30 p.m. As if on a timer, the rain stopped and the sun came out. My dress soaked up about 10 gallons of rain, some from getting rained on, some from absorbing puddles I couldn’t avoid standing in or near. It should be dry just in time for my weekend at the Stronghold Olde English Faire, October 4 & 5, but it's still drying now!
We met little Monica, who loved to give hugs to Jane and Fasso, and whose friend Jessica was six and was diagnosed with diabetes at age two. We met angelic little Erica, diagnosed at three years old, now four years old. And so on and so on. Each little child had a team: family, friends, physicians, neighbors.
Fasso (the very funny Fake Italian played by my husband) told the little children with diabetes, “Ehhh, you know? I been diabetic twenny-four-a years-a now. ‘S easy. Notting to worryabout. You gotta take care a yourself; you gotta test-a you bloods alla time; you gotta have a good team and a good family look out-a for you, you can do it, no problem. ‘S easy. I believe inna you.” They smiled and hugged us, and I cried inside, and it was moving and delightful.
We also met Leader Dog, a group of people training helper dogs, and their dogs. Their dogs all loved Jane the Phoole, and I hope they send me the photo they took of me petting All of the Dogs at Once, including a tiny black Labrador puppy named Keelie who like chomping my hem with tiny puppy needle-teefs.
When we visited the giraffes (Tom’s most favorite animal in the whole world), the giraffes (who love to look at bright, contrasting colors) all came over to look at ME, and one of them squeezed its head through the fence, put its face about 14” from mine, and just GAZED, for about three minutes. It was fantastic. I’m glad I made the hat so sparkly!