Yesterday morning I logged onto facebook at work. (Yes, I'm a little bit naughty like that. But it was technically 6 minutes before my work started). I saw I had been tagged in a post by TJ (the same lovely lady I am doing the fun run with).
I opened it and went into some sort of shock. TJ had signed up to do the jump for diabetes - for myself and all other T1 diabetics out there. She doesn't know anyone else with Type 1. I haven't seen her since before my diagnosis. I don't even know how she knew about this fundraiser! I was and still am deeply overwhelmed by it. I may have cried a little at work. Emily at work might have thought I was crazy, crying at facebook.
I don't really know how to describe what I felt when I read her post. I think it was the singular most beautiful moment since my diagnosis. It was the moment when I knew, really knew that I wasn't in this alone. That people cared. To someone suffering from a chronic illness, this sort of unprecedented support means a lot. Its hard not to feel alienated and a burden to everyone else when your whole life is now incorporated into some disease. Sometimes I feel like my life is this disease constantly. Its an amazing feeling when you realise other people care what you're going through, and you know you can escape for a little while, be with other people and be a normal, unaflicted human being.
It's bizarre the way an illness like diabetes can show you who you can rely on and who your biggest support is. TJ and I have a funny sort of relationship. We can go for many many years with only the occasional bit of contact, a short message to say happy birthday perhaps. But when we reconnect, there never seems to have been any time missed. We can pick up where we let off. She will always be one of my closest friends, no matter how long we don't see or talk to each other. She is an amazing, selfless, giving person, and I will adore her forever.
I don't know how to thank her, whether she raises the money needed or not (although I will try my hardest to help her get there), I am so grateful for what she has given to me and other diabetics already. I am so grateful for her for reminding me that life isn't all chronic illness - its a whole lot of love, friendship and happiness as well. And hope. That one day there will be a cure. When there is, I can turn to TJ and thank her for it.
Jess - love you forever sweetie!!
(PS - anyone wanting to donate can do so at this link: http://fundraise.teamcurediabetes.org.au/jessica_king_90)
Perhaps we need to get some updated pictures!!!