Although I was diagnosed with diabetes a mere 4 1/2 months ago I’ve quickly learned so much about how important it is to maintain a good attitude as well as hope for positive changes in the future. Finding the right resources and meeting the right people are important factors in getting the proper education and inspiration needed to properly manage and endure the daily requirements of diabetes.
One person that has been a great inspiration to me has been Flora Allen-Hopson, the mother and biggest fan of Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen. Since the discovery of her grandson Walker’s type 1 diabetes at 17 months old, she has been dedicated to doing everything in her power to promote diabetes awareness and finding a cure. It was this that inspired her to run the Boston Marathon year after year in support of Walker on Team Joslin. The Boston Marathon is 26.2 miles long and takes some serious determination to get through, but that doesn’t scare Flo Allen-Hopson away. Whenever someone mentions how tough it is to make it through a marathon or asks her how she can endure the pain and fatigue of 26 miles she immediately returns their attention to the reason she is running. She reminds them that if her grandson cannot take a break from the pain of insulin shots and finger pricks that are required to manage diabetes then she won’t be taking a day off from running, “That’s greater than any pain I can feel on the 26.2-mile route.” I have had the opportunity to watch her cross the finish line in person, which has meant more to me this year than in years passed due to my now personal connection in her cause.
Flo, along with the help of her son Ray Allen and his wife Shannon Allen has successfully been able to raise money and awareness for diabetes through the Ray of Hope foundation and the Joslin Diabetes Center by managing various programs such as $3 for 3′s where participants donate $3 for every 3 pointer Ray Allen hits during a game.
She never forgets to mention that her hopes are for a cure. Her consistency and dedication to just that is inspiring to me, to continue to manage my own type 1 diabetes, help raise awareness, maintain a level of hope and to be active in the diabetes community. Both Flo and Walker Allen have been an inspiration to me.
I am participating in the third annual Diabetes Blog Week! I’ll be contributing by posting about pre-determined topics each day for a week. You can find more posts by going to the topic list and by searching Twitter hashtag #dblogweek.