Back in the late summer my local branch of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation invited me to take part in, among other things, the logistical and production planning of this year’s Walk to Cure Diabetes. When the offer came, I thought it was long overdue as Franca and I had been noodling them since Lia’s diagnosis to become involved volunteers. But I had little appreciation then for the challenges of finding essential work for people like us, with strong passions to give their time freely. What I did understand was that in addition to doing what we could to help raise money for a cure, what we were most needing then, and still now — and of which has been the topic of many WE posts — is a community of which to belong.

Lia’s diabetes and my working role with JDRF provided me the opportunity to not only experience such a community, five thousand people strong, but it gave me the good reason to push my chair away from the desk, step away from keyboard and writing and do a bit more heavy lifting with my hands. I had been feeling drained of both emotion and creativity and could not have asked for better therapy.

It was Albert Einstein who said, “People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.” With The Walk this past weekend, I caught myself thinking wouldn’t it be great if finding a cure were just something that needed a bunch of us to haul it or build it or power it. It won’t be of course, but it was nice for just one day to feel like I was doing something other than waiting on someone else.

Thank you to all who donated in honor of Team Liabetes, and also to those who gave their time to put on this wonderfully optimistic event. It wasn’t until two days later, while sitting at the table for breakfast with Lia that I understood the impact it had on her own confidence.

She said to me: “You know what, I think I am starting to not mind having diabetes.”

It’s not a cure, not by any measure, but for a life without envy, it’s sure as hell a great start.

For a few pictures of the day, please check out Without Envy on Flickr.



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