A Sunday Well Spent

Yesterday I wrote I’d be going to bed late Saturday night. Who predicts me better than me? I was up until 4:00 AM.

That made the sound of the alarm clock at 8:00 AM very unwelcome. It didn’t make much difference. There was no doubt I’d be getting out of bed. Today was the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation “Walk To Cure.”

The official line was 4,000 attending and $900,000 raised. Those are estimates, but they’re pretty close.

Someone I met asked how long I’d been doing this? I have no clue, so I asked, and was told I’ve been involved with JDRF for 12 years.

JDRF thinks I’ve been good to them. Shhh – don’t tell. It’s really the other way around.

I am their “Celebrity Chairman.” I don’t know what that means. There are probably four or five days a year when I appear on JDRF’s behalf. I speak to corporate sponsors at breakfast and lunches, helping to motivate them. I appear at the walk itself and do a lot of handshaking and picture taking.

What I do that JDRF never expected when I signed on is promote the living daylights out of the walk during the final week. I’d like to think that brings more walkers, which means more money. I really don’t know.

Over the years my bosses have never objected to me giving away their television station in this way. It certainly brings added notoriety to the event, which, even if it doesn’t help this year, helps going forward.

Here’s the big secret. You know the scene in Jerry McGuire where Renee Zellweger says, “You had me at hello?” JDRF had me early too. It might have been the first time I heard a story about a child with diabetes and how that child’s family originally discovered it.

The discovery, unfortunately, is often made in the middle of the night, in a hospital emergency room, by parents who are worried about a mysteriously ill child they fear will die. Hearing it’s diabetes doesn’t make that night any better. It’s a life sentence.

If you’ve got diabetes, your life will be cut short – period. How’s that for motivation?

So, if I can help (and I think I do)… and if the money we raise brings research a little closer… how can I not? There are few things I do where I am absolutely guaranteed to come home feeling good about myself. This is one.

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