a departure from my usual type of post…
but i want to talk about something close to my heart. beta connect. it has been a long time in the works, but the mentorship program i started visualizing nearly two years ago has finally come to fruition. thanks to sarah afzal, the woman who can literally move mountains, beta connect has blossomed. sarah has this really incredible ability to lead. close to magic, she just showed up and said “i want to do this,” and sure enough that is what she did, and then more! sarah, this wouldn’t have happened without you. since day one, you’ve been the most reliable and fun and kind and motivational partner in crime. i’m dumbfoundedly grateful for your existence. sincerely, thank you.
there are so many other people that deserve huge shout outs. sources of inspiration. encouragers along the way. it’s long overdue. here we go.
from the beginning:
PACS 119: you started it. every one of you that talked and shared and showed your passion. you all gave me space to be creative while looking inward at the same time. you let me fall on the first day into a puddle on the floor, and not a one of you let me feel alone. you melted with me. i felt safe enough to be more daring. sincerely, thank you.
sunshine workman & damali barton & sam clayton: you all directly impacted the details of beta connect, back when it was Diabetes Relationship Building for Empowering Youth (DRBEY) and now. your words ring in my ears all the time when i plan the future of the organization. you listened and gave me perspective. you all let me go when i needed to change pace, without stunting the movement that beta connect needed to go in to become real. sincerely, thank you.
stephanie swide & piper sagan & kim jennings & lucas fogarty & emily swide: do you know that you are the base? you showed up for the first meetings, which were basically like socials. you kept the idea alive. you stuck through the disorganization and casualness of poorly coordinated meetings. i had no idea what i was doing and you created the strength and power that carried beta connect to success. you will forever be the first active members of beta connect. sincerely, thank you.
manny : you had coffee with me one afternoon just to give me advice about doing non-profit work. i am not sure what you thought was in it for you, which truly speaks to your generosity and genuinely compassionate nature. at that coffee talk, at new amsterdam cafe, you told me about the job i have now. i was so excited that i called my mom to tell her about it right after. you gave me an opportunity to do what i am passionate about right out of college and more, to make a living doing it. i left college thinking i was going to have to work at a bar for a long time to sustain the kind of work i wanted to be doing. working for the diabetes hands foundation has been incredible and fulfilling. sincerely, thank you.
mr mike lawson: beta connect met you on facebook long before i ever thought i would meet you in person. i thought you were just a guy who made funny youtube videos about diabetes. when i learned that you were the guy who would start the same day as me at DHF, i at first thought ‘small world.’ but now, after knowing you, i have a new perspective. coincidences are everywhere if we just take notice. coincidences happen to YOU everyday, everyday a new story. you find them in weird places, or they find you, whichever. point being, you make meaning in your life like no on i have ever met. i have used that philosophy when working on beta connect, much more willing to go with the flow than before. the flow that has led to this. and side bar, you inspired this blog. writing is one of the best medicines i use. sincerely, thank you.
everyone at triple rock: ohmygsdadkjasdjahsdnd. you all were my friends when i kind of felt like i didn’t have any. you all make that place great. you create that vibe and gosh, it is so bright and welcoming. without you all, i wouldn’t have been able to get back on track after my beta-burnout. sincerely, thank you.
carolyn eisen & krystle samai & tamar sofer-geri & amy warner: you are the four strong women outside of by base of support who got excited about my idea. you fueled my passion and my desire to keep working. you all provided opportunities that i cannot thank you enough for. without you, the programs literally wouldn’t exist. sincerely, thank you.
lindsey hansen: you’re my sister, sista! your a pal and a confidant. and you did graphic design for free. thank you for be a solid friend even when i was down and out. love you, girl.
cait & nika & penthouse: you all took me in when i was a the lowest of lows, in the darkness of heartbreak. cait, i might be in a gutter somewhere if not for you. you let me be dark when i needed to be and danced with me in happy times. i miss you so much and can’t wait for you to return home. and nika, you brought music into my life in way more ways than one, literally and figuratively. you challenge me in crazy ways and i love you for being so strong willed and such a go-getter. both of you, i am so eager to meet your new selves and get to know the you that you have become while away. i love you both so much. visiting penthouse next semester is going to be beautiful. sincerely, thank you.
at the homebase:
jesse & the walker clan (including hattie): when i couldn’t walk you were my wheelchair. you spew love. literally. to a point that accepting the love made me feel in debt. when i didn’t deserve it. when i pushed away. when my blood sugars were high, and low. jesse, love of my life, i don’t even know what to say. you are this brilliant glowing light in my life. you remind me of my power when i let it slip away. you and the family you have extended my way give me courage and strength to be daring and caring. sincerely, thank you.
gabel house: you built me and raised me to have dreams and to be a leader capable of enacting change. nuff said. sincerely, thank you.
please do follow the link to see the announcement of the ConnecT1D program brought to you by JDRF and beta connect.
information about insulliance coming soon.
You are a powerhouse! You inspire me daily. I love you more than the stars and the moon.