Friday night came with great expectation, so we loaded in the minivan and drove an hour to watch a couple of basketball games. Not just any basketball game, an Orange Out and a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. This game was at the high school I graduated from. My shadow hasn’t darkened those doors in 23 plus years, all my memories of my awkward teenage self-seem old and musty now. Those memories at the time seem horrid, but now seem trivial at best; I even swore I’d never return. But why did I go back when I swore I wouldn’t; why did I take an evening out my unending busy life? For the very same reason I write this blog: Type 1 Diabetes.
Last night we attended the Central Montcalm Orange Out Basketball game and spaghetti dinner; a fundraiser for the JDRF. The girls’ varsity and boys’ varsity each played Chippewa Hills High School. Why do they do this fundraiser for the JDRF? There are a number of students at that school system with Type 1 Diabetes. One of the teachers and a d-dad wrote a guest post a few years back about their fundraising and diabetes awareness.
First up was the spaghetti dinner, it was good, and from the looks of the donation jar, they took in a few hundred dollars. They had a large raffle table set up with many items: autographed basketballs, sports memorabilia, and other donated items. They also sold close to 150 orange out game shirts. All the proceeds went to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Looks like early estimates that they took in several hundred in donations.
On the way in I stopped and talked with Nicole, her T1 son attends there and she heads up the fundraiser. We went to school together for a while, but I don’t really remember her, but now we’re fellow d-parents and fight for the same cause; a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. It didn’t take long to see another d-parent Kari and her family. Her son is a good football player and was diagnosed a year and a half ago. The conversation quickly turned to hearing her son’s diagnoses story and life as a d-parent. I had never met her husband and don’t remember him from school, but I sure enjoyed meeting him; he is a nice guy and very tall like his son.
During the game I saw my kindergarten teacher, she even remembered me. She inquired as to what brought me to the game. I told her about the fundraiser and my family; she seemed a bit shocked that I had 2 kids with Type 1. She ask me what the JDRF stood for. I still can’t believe she remembered me; hopefully the memories of me as a student were good. I talked with a few other classmates, one knew I had one child with Type 1, but didn’t know I had 2 with Type 1.
During the introductions for the boy’s game, the brought out an honorary squad of starters, all 6 students have Type 1 Diabetes, and 2 from the school were unable to attend. During both of the games the announcer gave facts and statistics about Type 1 Diabetes. Here’s the picture of the lineup.
Lady Hornets game recap:
The girls’ basketball team played a long and tall opponent in Chip Hills. They tied the game at the end and sent it to overtime. They played hard, but unfortunately they fell in overtime, losing 45-40. It was a tough loss but made the home crowd proud of their outstanding effort.
Boys’ varsity recap:
The boys’ varsity team took early control of the game and once again their top score Lane lead the way. Chippewa Hills was on their heels from the start. Central Montcalm Hornets won easily 53-40 but lost top score Lane Ledford to a broken arm. Our thoughts and prayer are with him and his family.
It was a fun night, but I’m always struck by the seemingly high numbers of Type 1’s in that area. This high school is in a rural farming community, the whole county is a farming community for the most part. The county has around 63,000 people and I’ve heard stories of similar number of Type 1’s in surrounding school districts. I’ll investigate further and find close to the exact numbers and if I can. A few years back a JDRF funding study showed that environmental factors can serve as a trigger for Type 1 Diabetes and autoimmunity. I’ll do a post very soon on that topic and provide the link to that study. Where there is smoke, there is fire, so I plan to dig deeper.
We left the boys’ game early because my little boy was getting very fussy. The whole family had a great time; even my dad joined us and enjoyed himself. This was the fourth annual Orange Out Game and we’ll be back for the fifth. Next year there will be a Type 1 playing on the girls’ team and should make the night all the more meaningful. I walk out of the school that night with a stronger connection with it than I could have ever imagined 23 years ago, a connection that will last a life time, the cause of Type 1 Diabetes. I’ll defiantly be back again.
Super post, Tim. It is a good mix of letting us know more about you and sharing some JDRF and diabetes news. And you’re right to wonder what in the environment is causing all these kids with T1. I’ll be interested to read what you write later about it
Thanks for reading and commenting on this story. It’s odd this story takes place where I grew up.
It is good to see the community reaching out to our children. It is alarming to hear about how many T1D students there are in that area. I guess it is good for all of the children to have friends that they can talk to about having T1D. That is probably one of the only good things about it.
Thanks for being involved,