Yesterday I was lucky enough to conduct an interview with the events coordinator of my local JDRF, Greater West Palm Beach Chapter. I have worked with Esther on multiple events over the past two years and have come to have a great working relationship with her. She also has an amazing story about diabetes and I wanted to share a little of Esther great heart, mind, and efforts with you. This interview was conducted via e-mail.
1. How long have you been with JDRF? palm beach
* I’ve been with JDRF for 10 years.
2. How did you get started?
* I’ve worked for another non-profit in the past (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital) and so I know how important it is to fight for children who are faced with a serious disease.
3. Explain how diabetes struck home?
* One day after hosting a Walk to Cure Diabetes, I took my daughter to the emergency room because I had notice the warning signs of diabetes for a few weeks, but was in denial that this could indeed happen to me and my family.
4. One word to describe how you felt after your daughter’s diagnosis?
* After her diagnosis, my head was spinning … literally .. I felt shock, disbelief and bewilderment.
5. One word to describe how you feel now about it?
* Although one of the most serious diseases anyone can be affected by, I know that diabetes is very manageable and I remind my daughter that she can still to anything she puts her mind to.
6. Best part of working at JDRF?
* I have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people, filled with the same passion … to find a cure for diabetes and its complications
7. Scariest diabetes moment?
* When my daughter first came home from the hospital, her blood sugar had dropped into the forties, so my husband and I gave her glucose tabs and a 15 gram snack. This didn’t seem to move her blood sugar number up much after 20 minutes, we gave her an additional 15 gram snack and that took her blood sugar to about 350. Yikes …we were so scared that we would never learn how to properly regulate her numbers.
8. Funniest diabetes moment?
* Shortly after diagnosis, a little boy at my daughter’s school called her a “diabetic.” Well my husband and I don’t believe in labeling her, so she knows that we never use that word. So, in response to this little boy, my daughter said, “I am not a diabetic. I am a little girl who has diabetes. Would you call someone with cancer a “canceretic”? No, you’d say that they have cancer. So, don’t ever call me that again. To this day, no other student at her school ever uses that term around her. 🙂
9. Favorite movie, book, singer?
* Favorite Movie: Mask (with Cher); Favorite Book: Misery; Favorite Singer: Michael Jackson (of course 🙂 )
10. If you could change one thing in the world today, other than the obvious of finding a cure, what would it be?
* If I could do one thing, I would find a way to keep children and seniors, the most vulnerable people in our society, away from those who would intentionally do them harm, be it physical, emotional or otherwise. And, I would want to see anyone caught harming them, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
If you have any questions for Esther, please leave a comment on my blog and I will make sure that they are answered. If you live in my area, please let me know if you are interested in helping with any local JDRF events.
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