The final statistics are these:
I'm putting that number in big red type because YOU KNOW WHAT I'M PRETTY FLIPPING PLEASED ABOUT IT. My family, friends, and friends of friends and family donated more than $12,000 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by mid-May 2014, so you met (and zipped past) my fundraising goal within the timeline I'd set.
In mid-May 2014 I ran my 11th half-marathon. I did not run the 12th one until October 19, 2014, so I did not do all the races I'd intended to do in within the timeline I'd set.
|This person is doing a very unconvincing|
simulation of running.
So people: I DID IT. (Sort of.)
But here is why this post has taken me a dreadfully, soul-suckingly, lay-awake-in-bed-at-night-and-feel-like-a-failure long time to write: What was, to me, an important part of my accomplishment has become a ghost. My personal fundraising page -- which shows how much I raised and all the people who donated and all the incredibly, humblingly kind and supportive words they lofted and which was basically my own little cave of joy -- is gone. JDRF changed the host for their online fundraisers, and when they did that they deleted all the existing fundraising pages. They sent out a single email announcing the change 10 days before they enacted it, but the way it was worded I didn't understand that it pertained to me (and in any case the email did not explain what you should do if you had an ongoing -- versus a single-event -- fundraising challenge and wanted to preserve your page).
I'm keeping my hands folded in my lap and my face neutral while I share this info. (How is she typing with her hands folded in her lap? What are her toes doing?) It is between me and my ego whether I am going to be dragged down by the fact that I cannot prove to anyone else that I did it. I got the JDRF folks to send me an Excel spreadsheet that shows all my donations and who they came from, but the personal notes are gone and the little essay I'd written about what I was doing and why is gone. When I discovered that my page no longer existed, I was dragged down for sure. Devastated actually. At first it really and truly felt like my accomplishment had been taken away from me, like all the work I'd put into this idea and the ring of people who I felt were holding my hands and cheering me on (AND, most importantly, showing me that they too think the world would be a better place without Type 1 diabetes) had been detonated. I didn't sleep that night. My chest was a hot tangled mess of sadness and fury.
But I have taken some deep breaths and regained my composure. I am hoping that all you heart-swellingly, mind-bogglingly generous people who donated to my fundraiser know how important this effort was to me and how much your show of support made me feel like a huge balloon full of sweet air bobbing around over the treetops. There is not an absolutely logical connection between your donations and my conviction that this disease will someday become extinct, but somehow one deepened the other. Every day, hopefully each of us does at least one or two nice things that we maybe don't ponder too much (holding a door, smiling at a stranger, picking up something they've dropped) and we don't necessarily ever know whether the gesture created a ripple. I don't know how much time any of you put into deciding whether to donate when I asked, but you made very big ripples, lots of them, and they gave me that light, bobbing feeling again and again for a whole year. If I could walk without limping right now, I'd probably be entertaining the idea of doing the whole thing all over again.
|I look vaguely like I'm trying to scare someone - ?|
So I am closing this little chapter. It was such an exciting and rewarding one for me, and joyous in that I owe any feelings of success to the support of other people, some of whom are within my tighter rings of community and some of whom came from further away. I know I and all those people have helped nudge science a little closer to a cure and prevention for Type 1 diabetes.
Now for tomorrow's stoplight.