Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yet Another Reason

***I got this in a newsletter from JDRF this morning***

Imagine working for six years for an exciting non-profit organization dedicated to curing a terrible disease and never thinking that one day your child would be one of the people you would be working to cure. This hap­pened to Esther Swann, JDRF Special Events Coordinator in Palm Beach two years ago. Esther joined JDRF in 2000. She met a wonderful group of families and they formed a tight Walk group. Through the years they built the Walk from $150,000 in 1999 to $375,000 this year. In Esther's first year at JDRF her walk goal was $200,000, and she beat it by $35,000!! Two years ago Esther noticed her daughter exhibiting the signs she knew so well from having worked at JDRF for six years. She had just finished working on the Palm Beach walk and the next day her daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. "You think that you understand what having a child with a disease is like," Esther says, but she had no clue what it was really like....."it is 200%" different!" Her daughter's diagnosis completely changed how she looked at JDRF. She had always loved working with JDRF because the organization is making a difference and they are so efficient at fund-raising. Esther says, "You know that the money you raise is going directly to research." Now it is personal. Her whole heart is in finding a cure for her daughter and the families that she worked with for years. These families are now some of her best friends and part of a support group for her daughter. Esther says, "For years, when I would visit companies and schools I would tell them even if you don't have a diabetes connection, it's so important to still learn the warning signs of diabetes and know that funding research to find a cure is needed. I would go on to say that I've seen personally how well JDRF uses the funds that it raises and that their contributions are making a difference. To explain how important supporting JDRF was even if you do not have an immediate connection, I would say that I have a young daughter who is perfectly healthy, but I've met so many families who have no diabetes connection and then they suddenly have one (or even more) children diagnosed with the disease... and that I want a cure to be found so that my daughter would never have to endure all that someone with diabetes has to handle. Little did I know that in a short period of time, my daughter would be diagnosed with the very disease that I've worked for years trying to secure funding in search of a cure." Esther now understands first hand the commitment she has seen in parents through the years she has worked at JDRF. She always re­members Marilyn Bresman, a parent who has worked with Esther on the Palm Beach walks, who promised her daughter years ago when she got diabetes that she would NEVER stop working for a cure. Even though her daughter is now in her 40's and Marilyn has had a tough year with a variety of family medical issues she was able to raise $25,000 this year!!!! Esther's life is now filled with diabetes; working for JDRF as a staff person, taking care of her daughter's diabetes, going to support groups, helping other newly diagnosed families. It is people like Esther that make JDRF so successful! Thank you, Esther, for all of your hard work.


Cosmo Mom said...

sniff sniff, go Esther!!!