King for a Day
Luke got to be an ambassador for JDRF/Nordstrom’s massive Beat the Bridge walk/run this year. It was started by a family 30 years ago when their son was diagnosed. Co-workers at Nordstrom chipped in, and it has grown into a $1.5M+ event with roughly 30k people turning out to walk and run.
It was admittedly a proud parent moment. Our family was part of the promotional video, Luke got to be on radio and TV, and he was indulged by the two older ambassadors and the many corporate teams we visited leading up to the event.
I was inspired and humbled by the people we met. Every corporate team had people walking for family or friends, and one team captain quietly told me she’d been doing Beat the Bridge for 20 years, since one of her two step-sons with T1D had died. Many friends signed up to walk and run, and family and friends from all over contributed. We hoped Luke would see T1D as bringing something good his way for a change. We were coming out of a rough year with him realizing that T1D isn’t going away, he can’t control it, and not everyone has to suffer from its nasty low/high blood sugars.
He did revel in the attention, but he surprised me by shifting through different reactions to the event and T1D in just those few months. (Then again, why would something involving T1D be simple?)
- First reaction: “I’m king of Beat the Bridge!” How else do you explain the concept of “ambassador” to a four-year-old?
- Next reaction as the TV promos started running: “Hey, did you see me on TV? I’m on TV!”
- But then: “I’m mad, because Beat the Bridge will stop diabetes, and I like to watch Batman when we do pod changes.” Uh, glad we’ve made pod changes so attractive!
- And: “I don’t want anyone to see me on TV, because then they’ll know I have diabetes.” I think the cat’s out of the bag on that one, kiddo.
- The morning after the event: “Beat the Bridge is over? Is diabetes over now?” Cue sound of parent’s heart breaking. Explain that scientists are still working on it, and people all over the country are doing walks and selling lemonade to get more money for scientists to fix diabetes.
- “Oh. I want to give all my money to the scientists.” Luke has been saving for an entire year to buy a Playmobile Falcon Knight castle, and his piggy bank is stuffed.
Pause. “Well, half the money – I still want the castle.” Sanity restored.