Thought for the Day

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

David, my Triabuddy

A part of the Triabetes experience which I haven't mentioned much on this blog is the Triabuddies. Triabuddies are kids who inspire those of us training for Ironman, while we try to return the favor.
When we cross the finish line at Ironman, we will each take our Triabuddy with us. This is a way to connect the older generations, like mine, with the younger ones coming up. Facing physical challenges, living adventurously instead of sitting at home in front of a TV, is a concept that applies to everyone who wants to live a healthier life.
My Triabuddy is David Auth, a great kid I unfortunately have not been able to spend enough time with. He lives in Carlsbad, California, and I'm here in Chandler, Arizona. We have exchanged a couple of emails and talked on the phone, but we finally met face to face for a short time last week.
Sue and I were in California helping Sue's father get some of his affairs in order after he moved into an assisted living facility. We made a detour through Carlsbad on our way home.
David and his family, Mom, Dad, two brothers and little sister, had just gotten home from camping. David had the bad luck of finishing his trip by falling on the camp fire and burning his hand, so he kept his hand in a glass of ice water the whole time we talked. He was clearly in pain, but he's tough.
He had already told me in email to "remember to never give up!"
David has never given up in his battle with type 1 diabetes. He's been fighting it since he was 4 years old. There's not much that could be more challenging than that, but to David, it's just part of life.
He enjoys lots of activities besides camping. We talked about how his hand injury might cost him some flag football practice the next day. He also likes soccer, basketball, skateboarding... He says street hockey "is the coolest sport."
David does it all with the enthusiasm of any other kid, but it takes a little more for him than for most other kids. It takes counting carbohydrates in his food, being aware of how much insulin is in his system, testing his blood sugar with frequent finger sticks.
But David says, "It's just what I do."
David does these health-maintenance chores because he knows that managing his blood sugar helps him feel better and keeps him healthy for all of the things he enjoys.

David is looking forward to the three-day sailing and kayaking journey to the Channel Islands he will take with the other Triabuddies. They will enjoy hiking and camping and diving with certified wilderness guides, experienced diabetes mentors, and kids just like themselves. This trip, and participation in the Ironman, aims at teaching these diabetic children not just that they can live normal lives, but that they can do anything.
No stranger to swimming in the ocean and exploring nature, David has been a YMCA Adventure Guide and an Oceanside Junior Lifeguard. He loves the outdoors and hopes to someday have a career which involves being a wildlife expert. A couple of his favorite TV shows are "Survivorman" and "Man vs. Wild."
Please consider helping David reach his fund-raising goal, and Triabetes continue this inspiring program.

David's page:
http://www.firstgiving.com/davidauth

Triabuddies:
http://triabetes.org/triabuddies.php

Triabetes:
http://triabetes.org/

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