Lights, Camera, Cure

March 6, 2017


This all started with an unassuming deal. I’d “take care of myself,” and Mom would do everything in her power to move the needle closer to a cure. Neither of us had the foresight to even begin wrapping our minds around what that would come to mean in these first twenty years. We just knew we had an arrangement. So we shook on it. We used our hands to bind it. She went out into the world and used her hands to join with those of many of you and help advance the causes that have brought us here for this occasion. She used her hands to sign papers, to open doors, and to pop that third chainring when the hills got tall.

St. Pauline of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus became the first woman from Brazil to be canonized when Pope John Paul II did so 15 years ago. Having lived much of her life with diabetes, she is now widely regarded as the patron saint of our kind. She touched people, using her hands to serve the underserved. In her life, diabetes took her right hand and for her beatification, three relics were made with bones from the hand it left her: they, like the legacy built by this diabetic community, are lasting reminders of what hands are made to do by those who are built for doing.

Every day, my own hands remind me of the arrangement I have with Mom. Every day they bleed and renew the lease on that deal. The prickmarks and calluses are a contract signed in love, one that each of you knows because you’re here. And you’re a very important part of our arrangement. Tonight we celebrate the work of the hands of Mom, and of Dad, who has lifted his countless times in support. Of the hands of Dr. Amrhein, Dr. Nelson, and all the people who make the GHS Pediatric Endocrinology practice the life-changing place it is. Of the hands of each and every one of you, your kids, your type threes, and your friends and family who walk, bike, fundraise, and speak out in support. So tonight I use my hands to present the JDRF Living and Giving Award to Cindy and Joe Brothers, who have earned it many times over. Please put yours together in honoring them.