Dear Doctors Banting, Best, MacCleod & Collip.
I just wanted to take a moment to Thank-You for giving me the gift of LIVING.
Because of you and your efforts, I've lived past the age of 8.
Instead of being yet another sad memory for parents who lost their child or loved one to an illness that offered no hope, I became a girl who not only lived but grew up to be a woman who is becoming.
Because of your diligence and hard work, I had many firsts.
My first kiss
My first love
My first heartbreak
Too many firsts to list without leaving so much out.
Because of the gift of your discovery, I was able to live and learn and continue to do so every day.
I became an Auntie multiple times and learned to love others more than myself.
I attended and graduated college.
I traveled to Europe and saw the wonders of Venice and Paris.
Because of you I was able to discover that I loved books, writing, performing, helping others manage their life with diabetes, and every shade of the color green.
I’ve swum with manatees, and I've climbed the Mexican pyramids on the longest day of the year.
I've worked at jobs I've loved, and I've worked in jobs I haven't.
I was able to see my niece perform on Broadway and cried tears of joy and pride.
And was incredibly grateful and proud.
If you never discovered insulin, I never would have met her, let alone watched her shine on “The Great White Way.”
I've been granted the gift of 12 wonderful nephews and nieces and have been know the joy of seeing each of them grow and become the wonderful & individual pieces of art that they are.
If you hadn’t had your own burning passion to save those of us with diabetes,
I never would have been able to discover my own passions.
I never would have lived, let alone blogged.
I wouldn't have a job helping others with Diabetes.
By your discovery of insulin, I was able to learn what I don’t like - which is also a great gift.
Reaching adulthood has taught me that I’m no fan of FOX News or MTV’s The Jersey Shore.
And that I prefer wine over beer, V-Necks over Crew Necks, and my GPS over a map any day of the week!
Because insulin was discovered, my father was able to have children, and my siblings and I were not only conceived but saved by your discovery - THANK YOU.
Thank you for not allowing my parents to lose three children and a grandson.
Thank you for giving my oldest sister the gift of motherhood 3 times over.
Thank you for allowing my nephew to graduate Berkley with honors and become a Professor of Literature.
Thank you for allowing both my Aunts and one of my first cousins to become mothers.
Thank you for giving every single one of my friends with diabetes the gift of living life and every single person with diabetes the opportunity to do so!
Thank you for my gifts of strength, tenacity, humor, and empathy.
I strongly believe those traits were greatly enhanced by being a person who lives her life every single day with diabetes.
Sometimes I think in the bustle of life and looking for the cure, we forget that it wasn’t until 1922 that children and adults no longer died when being diagnosed with diabetes.
Up until then, diabetes was a death sentence.
Today diabetes a life sentence- and by “life sentence” I mean the ability to live life to the fullest EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I will admit, there are times in my life when I haven’t taken advantage of the act of living fully.
But now, I relish every moment big and small.
Little moments have just as much meaning as big ones – because I am here to experience them.
Do I want a cure in my lifetime? ABSOLUTELY!
I don’t want anyone else to be diagnosed with my disease. I don’t want another person to suffer mentally or physically because diabetes has entered their lives.
I am ready to say GOODBYE to Diabetes for good!
BUT I am so grateful for the gift of living that was given to me because of you both and
I love you without ever having had the privilege of meeting you.
I think of you both every day- and I say a prayer of thanks.
I want to live my best life not just for me and those I love, but for you.
You're the reason I'm alive.
To not live a great life would be a disservice to me AND you!
I will continue“becoming" and, not just for myself, but because really, who am not to?
I am the girl who lived and is now a woman who IS....and is BECOMING.
And I owe the fact that I am living to you both!
This letter was inspired by Drs' Banting & Best. They saved millions of lives and with out them, none of us would be here. Click HERE to read more about them.
But this letter was also inspired by a truly wonderful blog post written by Natural Born Cyborg that you MUST READ. Click HERE and check it out!