Every so often an event occurs that demonstrates not only the essence of a foundation’s mission but the very heart of the founders who created the mission. This is just one such story.
I met “Jared” just a few days ago through Joe, one of HADC’s founders. Jared’s dad died when he was nine years old. His mom, unable to cope, turned to drugs. When she wasn’t high, she was sleeping.
Jared learned that if he wanted to eat, he’d need to pour the cereal milk himself for breakfast and spread his own peanut butter if lunch was on the menu. When Jared learned that he had type 1 diabetes, things turned worse. He didn’t have the money for needed supplies, and he didn’t even know which supplies were needed.
Through years of neglect to both dangerously high and low blood sugar levels without treatment, Jared went blind in one eye. Today, Jared awaits a compatible kidney and a pancreas for transplantation. Jared found out about HADC a year ago through a mutual friend. HADC helped Jared with supplies, information and something Jared, up to this point, has not experienced: somebody, an organization, who genuinely cared for him. That all sounds good and well, but how can you measure care?
This is what really struck me. Last night during an HADC meeting, Jared called Tami, HADC’s founder.
“I was in a car accident an hour ago. My blood sugar levels must have been low and I blacked out. I was told an ambulance drove me to the hospital where I’m calling you from right now.”
Stunned but alert, Joe and Tami immediately volunteered, “Do you need us to come over? Has the doctor seen you? When you’re finished with your tests, when they find out what’s wrong, let us know and we’ll come over immediately and get you no matter what time it is.”
Inspired by such rarely seen generosity. I also volunteered my help. Today, the morning after, we’re still awaiting the call. But we have learned about Jared’s condition in detail. He’s in the hospital as I write this blog dealing with the pain that comes with several broken bones. He’ll be ok, because even from the only meeting I had with him a week ago, I could see that he is a survivor, a fighter. But keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers.
But further, keep the founders of Help a Diabetic Child of Naples, Joe and Tami in your thoughts as well. I have never seen the heart of an organization as clearly as I did last night, a sort of first response to a young man with type 1 diabetes without reservation and thought to any inconvenience.