Friday, August 22, 2008

From Nikki to Congress

A few weeks ago Nikki decided that she wanted to apply to go with JDRF next summer to Washington DC to speak to Congress about life with diabetes. Part of applying was that she had to write a letter to her representative (Geoff Davis) talking about herself and what Congress should do to help the effort to find a cure.
We don't actually find out if Nikki is selected until January, they only take 150 kids, but whether she is picked or not doesn't diminish the amazing letter she wrote. The letter is 100% her own thoughts and words. She gave me permission to share it with you in this posting:

Dear Mr. Davis,

I remember the day I went to the hospital, I got my first IV put in then; it took 4 tries to get it in, I was 5. I had to stay in the hosptial for a few days and I remember it was the scariest thing that ever happened to me.

Since my diagnosis I keep my diabetes under control but I still have to think about it all the time, instead of just being a kid. One time I had a very low blood sugar, in school with all my friends watching, and had to go to the hospital in an ambulance; it was scary and I had no idea what was happening, I was 7.

I’ve learned to take care of my finger pokes, my pump and counting carbs but those aren’t things a kid like me should have to worry about. Every night I am scared that my blood will go low while I’m sleeping and I won’t ever wake up.

Some kids say I’m lucky to have diabetes because they think I can eat or drink whenever I want to. They don’t understand that I have to have insulin if I want to eat or when I’m low I don’t eat because it’s fun, I eat because I have to. We need Congress to spend their money on finding a cure and teaching people about diabetes. I wish eating was something I didn’t HAVE to do.

I have 2 cousins with diabetes, a friend my age with diabetes, 2 dance teachers with diabetes and none of us should have diabetes. I raise money every year to find a cure and last December my school district picked me Student of the Month because of the money I raised, which was $500.00. I go to Camp Korelitz every year and the best part of that is for a week I get to be around people who have the same thing I do, I’m not different.

Congress should make finding a cure an important thing because kids should only worry about being kids; we shouldn’t worry about living or dying every day. I know the government has enough money to help us if they really want to.

My name is Nikki, I’m a dancer, I’m a student, I’m a daughter, I’m a sister, I’m a granddaughter, I’m blonde, I’m a friend, I’m on the honor roll. I’m a diabetic and I wish I wasn’t.

Hoping for a Cure,
Nikki Turner, age 10


Nicole said...

What a great young lady you hvae Sheri!

Your blog looks great too. :)

Nini said...

I so wish I could take it away from her. This is a wonderful letter & any one knowing Nikki could hear her little voice echoing the written words. The public in general have no idea of the depth of anquish that these children & their parents & love ones go through. Of course no one knows anything until they have personal knowledge of it. I knew about dibitics, not much, but some when Brittany was told she had it at 5 or 6 also. Along with all the other bricks she would carry through her life, she was given this cross to bare. I thought the fear and pain was awful then, our grand daughter and we cried. CAn you image how I felt when a few months later, our oldest grand son was told he also had this "illness". He was 12 yrs old. A differnt daughter, same life altering digonoses. Then not that much later, a third grand child is told she too has this "illness". My three daughters had one child each in their families...I might know how Noah felt, maybe not. To watch my Nikki (my Miss Mouse & her poppa's Gerber Baby) flipping around with her pump attached to the side of her skirt or pants. Brings tears to our hearts, along with gratitude that their is a pump, that there is insulin, that things have improved over the years & I have faith that they will continue to improve. I just hope it's in time for my babies to to have the freedom to live their lives free from worry & pain & the constant dread of not waking up.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nik-a-Lik,
What a great letter you wrote. I really hope you get selected to go to Washington because I know you will not be afraid to talk to all of those people and will say things that will make them pay attention to how serious diabetes is. I am so proud of you. Love ya - love ya more - love ya mostest!!!
Nini Joyce