When diabetes chose me, it chose the wrong kid…and the wrong family. I am competitive. My family is competitive and we are ready to fight. We aren’t going away quietly. We are fighting diabetes with everything we got, but what I’ve come to realize…it’s not just about me.
For me, I have family, friends, teachers, coaches, classmates and teammates who help me stay strong and face diabetes every day. I am lucky. What I’ve learned is that others aren’t so lucky. They may not have the support like I do or the medicine to help them stay healthy. I had no choice becoming a diabetic, but I can choose how I handle my disease.
Einstein said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” To me, that’s why this happened. It’s why diabetes happened. So, I needed to do something for other diabetics like me; for other kids like me. So, Willstrong and Will’s Way were born.
Willstrong was something I wanted to do only a couple weeks after being diagnosed. I asked my mom if we could create T-shirts that said Willstrong on the front and, “Stronger than Diabetes” on the back. We ended up raising a bunch of money (well, a bunch to a thirteen-year-old like me), then donated it all to JDRF Indiana State Chapter.
As Lincoln once said, “I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards.” My donation may not have been the largest, but hopefully it will start a ripple effect that will grow bigger and wider. My wish is to motivate you to join walks, runs, swims, bike rides, golf outings and any fundraiser that can help someone suffering from a life-changing disease.
We continue to have a Willstrong community. But, now, I’m ready to do more. I’m ready to make that ripple bigger with Will’s Way, an organization my mom and I started to help diabetics get the care they need to be fully healthy, not just alive. My hope is that I can make a difference in someone’s life. Maybe I can help another junior-high student become healthy enough to make his or her basketball team. That would be great.
I will continue to be strong because of my family, friends and the Willstrong Warriors. If you need a little help to fight type 1 diabetes too or want to give to an organization that is helping kids like me, contact us by email at email@example.com or check us out at facebook.com/diabeteswillsway.