Embracing Life & the Child with the Disease

Hope in #17

Yesterday, Jason came home with 5 tickets to the Dallas Stars game ~ not just any tickets, but company BOX SEAT tickets.  The boys screamed like little girls when I told them the news.  We are NOT big hockey fans.  It’s not that we don’t like the sport, we really just don’t know much about it.  As most of you know, we are really more of a football family!  Shoot, we live in Texas, so we’re supposed to be.  So the excitement to go to this game was not about the Stars, it was actually about DIABETES.  And it’s a story of hope for our family.  It’s the story of #17 Toby Petersen.

Toby and Ryan, both dx'd at age 5

In July, we went to a JDRF kick-off dinner event for our Walk in September.  Petersen was the keynote speaker for the evening; you can read more about our dinner here.  We were still so early in the d-game that seeing someone who had been dx’d at the same age as Ryan and was now pursuing his dreams in professional sports, well, it was emotionally moving for this d-momma to say the least.  But since then, Petersen has been labeled one of Ryan’s heroes/role models. 

I’ve never been to a professional hockey game before.  The boys did once last season, but really weren’t very in to it then.  But last night, it was AWESOME.  The box was great, the seats were great, the boys LOVED that a food buffet was right there and they could go get what they wanted.  Of course, d did tag along, as usual, we can’t just leave it at home or turn it off for a while.  😦  BUT, it did cooperate! Anyway,  for buffets, as I’m sure all d-families do but maybe not all, Ryan goes through the line, gets his plate and then sits down and we do some carb calculating (aka GUESSING) and then take his sugar and administer insulin. 

This is what it looks like. 🙂

Ignore my creepy expression & NOTE THE NON-D BOY!

ATTENTION D-MOMS . . . I have included this second picture of the glucose monitoring, carb calculating and insulin administering for you.  Please, as much as you can, try to ignore the horrid look on my face.  I have no idea! But I was scrolling through the pics last night on my laptop and saw this one and almost vomited!  Not because of d or because of Ryan or even the expression on my face (although it did make me a little queezy).  LOOK AT MY BABY BOY!  I cemented a note- to-self in my mind last night to NEVER let d steal my focus so much that I allow my other children to wander into grave danger.  Aaron looks like he’s about to hop over that 12 inch plastic guard and plummet down to the floor seats below.  OH.MY.WORD.  Not my proudest moment as a mom!!!!

Moving on . . .

My job for the 60 minutes of play was to point out every time Petersen entered the ice.  So the whole game, I was yelling and pointing, “There’s Petersen!”  or “Toby’s back out!”  And immediately six little eyes were glued on #17 until he barreled back over the wall to rest in the box.  I was sure the people behind us thought we knew him personally!

It was a wonderful night.  We laughed and hooted and hollered together.  We all got bummed out all at the same time when the Stars were up 3-2 and Ethan started the 10-second countdown to end the game.  I can still hear E next to me, “10-9-8-7-6 . . . WHAT!?!?!?!?  You’ve got to be stinkin’ kidding me! You couldn’t stop ’em for FIVE MORE SECONDS!!!”  The Ducks scored with 5.4 seconds left in the game locking it up 3-3. And only 1:42 into the five-minute over-time, the Ducks scored!  BUM.MER.

I don’t know what Toby Petersen really means to Ryan at this point in his life.  I don’t even think he thinks about how d COULD limit his life if he lets it.  And I’m so thankful for that.  It would be just fine with me if that thought NEVER crossed his mind. Ever!  But what Toby Petersen and others like Jay Cutler, Sean Busby, Kris Freeman, Nick Jonas, Crystal Bowersox and so many more does for this d-momma’s heart . . . there simply are no words.  NONE.  I can tell my diabetes boy that d doesn’t have to stop him, to limit him, to keep him from his dreams.  It just might mean he might have to work a “little harder than the average bear.” (words taken from Petersen’s keynote speech at the JDRF dinner in July). 

FACT: #17 offered HOPE to our family last night and all he was doing was playing a little hockey!

(see all pics on my Facebook page!)

Happy for HOPE!

Comments on: "Hope in #17" (5)

  1. 5 free tickets for box seats? Score!!! Yay for you! 🙂

    I, too, appreciate that we have these role models for our kids. It’s important that they know they can soar to all sorts of heights with D.

  2. I think these heroes do exactly that – allow the thought of D holding our kids back from their dreams to never cross their minds. Why would it when all these people are doing such amazing things.

    Glad you had a great night!

  3. YOUR EYES are AMAZING!!! And…oopsie on the almost-near-death-experience on the other kid..haha!!! No judgement here my friend.

    I feel the same. These pro-athletes give me a lot of hope and inspiration. Not that I think Joe will be some pro..but that it can be done. And…if that can be done, THEN ANYTHING can be accomplished – “D” OR “no-D”.

    Glad that you had fun!!!

  4. Nana (mom) said:

    When Ryan is all grown up and looks back on his life since 5 years old, he will be so thankful for his role-models (Not Peterson or Cutler or who-ever-else, but his Dad and Mom who took such good care of him and made his life “normal”!!!

  5. As a Canadian and a HUGE hockey fan, I would be more than happy to accompany you next time ;^) You know, in case you have any hockey-related questions.

    Glad you had such a good time… and YAY for great seats!

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