Looking at the Bright Side

 

2016 is coming to an end, and unfortunately, for many it can’t come soon enough.  Social media has been flooded with the voices of angst-ridden Americans, shouting to anyone who’ll listen that this has been the WORST YEAR EVER. And it’s easy to see their point; this past year likely will be remembered for for its negatives more than its positives.  

We solemnly said goodbye to some of the greatest artists and activists of our time — individuals whose gifts and social efforts inspired generations. We saw a sharp rise in violence both at home and abroad, causing many to wonder if respect for human life is a thing of the past. And a bitter and negative presidential election cleaved our nation in two, leaving many to feel that 2017 could be even darker.

But as we approach the end of 2016, and people gather together to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, it is more important than ever that we focus on all the good that took place this year, and show our gratitude to those who’ve touched our lives, and bettered our hearts.  

From the silly to the serene, d’aprile properties is thankful for the following:

  • Our Cubbies.  108 years was a long time to wait. But well worth it, as the Northsiders’ amazing playoff run united our city in a sea of blue. The celebration peaked as five million fans came together in Grant Park, flying their ‘W’s’ and weeping tears of pure joy. It was the seventh-largest gathering of people in recorded human history, one filled with tremendous joy and gratitude.
  • The power of a righteous cause.  The ALS Association has stated that money raised through the viral craze ‘The Ice Bucket Challenge’ paved the way for a breakthrough discovery of a gene that scientists agree is among the most common contributors to the disease. One step closer.
  • A once broken economy, recovering.  For the majority of the year, mortgage rates fell and housing prices rose, resulting in the strongest market since the crash of ’08.  
  • A certain boy wizard. A new Harry Potter book was released, and a new movie as well.  It’s not hard to get immersed in J.K. Rowling’s world, one consistently filled with hope.
  • Respect paid toward Mother Earth.  As the result of a commitment the nation of India made at last year’s Paris Climate Conference, 800,000 volunteers worked for 24 straight hours to plant 50 million trees, according to Indian officials.
  • The spirit of competition.  Our hats off to Michael Phelps, the American Gymnastics team, both Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams, and all of the 2016 U.S. Olympians for showing us what it means to have the heart of a champion. And to Abbey D’Agostino, for reminding us what sportsmanship is all about.
  • The amazing, unified spirit of our Armed Forces.  When Major Jaspen Boothe, a disabled Army Veteran, cancer survivor, and Chicago native learned that only four people planned to attend the funeral of WWII veteran Serina Vine, she reached out to every veteran’s group she knew of. Over 200 members from various military factions came together from all over the country to pay their respects.
  • Those we lost, but will never forget.  Arnold Palmer. Gene Wilder. Nancy Reagan. David Bowie. Alan Rickman. Harper Lee. Prince. Muhammad Ali. Countless others. Your light may have gone out, but the blaze you sparked in the hearts and imaginations of others never will. Rest in Peace.
  • And finally, for new friends made.  To those we had the privilege to do business with this year — from our table to yours, we thank you for your faith, and for your partnership. We hope to continue this relationship for years to come.  

Have a safe, and happy holiday.


Finding the Moment

In today’s somewhat trying times, it can be easy to lose focus. We live in a world where we are constantly barraged by stimulus – positive, negative, or otherwise. We are forever connected to the rest of the world through technology, and for the most part, we benefit from the union. But at times, it seems that in our pursuit of instantaneous gratification, we’ve sacrificed our ability to thoroughly experience a quality moment in time.

Life is hectic. You try to balance a career, sustain a marriage, raise a family – all while desperately hoping to steal a few seconds to focus on your own personal happiness. Add in the perpetual flow of data being constantly refreshed through your cell phone, laptop, or tablet, and it is easy to become overwhelmed. Our minds struggle to hang on to that last coherent and productive thought, before another comes along and strong arms its way into the moment, sending its predecessor off into space, never to be heard from again.

How often do you find yourself completely prepared to complete a given set of tasks for your work day, only to realize that the clock has struck 5 PM without you checking off a single one of them? How can you expect to find the time to exercise, meet friends for lunch, or finish a chapter in a book, when you can’t turn off the slew of info heading into your brain? And when you do get the opportunity to steal a minute or two, it’s often with your mind and emotions still racing, fighting to stay ahead of the tide.

 

Studies have shown that this type of behavior can affect our health in negative ways. Increased stress has been linked to depression, anxiety, and weight gain – just to name a few. When we have to expect that the mode and manner in which we live our lives will only speed up in the future, how can one hope to incorporate a healthy, gratifying lifestyle?

That is where the concept of ‘Mindfulness’ comes in. A ideal once attributed to ‘new age’ or ‘hippie’ lifestyles, Mindfulness is now a mainstream concept, often integrated as a major component of corporate wellness programs. The idea is a simple one – Mindfulness is staying connected to the present moment. It is about creating a peaceful environment for your mind to function in, rather than simply ingesting information as it enters your eye or ear. The goal is to keep your mind from wandering, and creating fear and worry from what’s come before or will come soon. It’s about training yourself to not only accept, but enjoy the moment that you’re in right now.

 

By teaching yourself a series of simple tasks, performed daily to help you find your center, you can take back control of your mind and your body. Your family, your business, and your sanity can only benefit from it.

Take Time to Breath

Between appointments, simply sit still and be quiet. Close your eyes, and go from ‘doing’ to ‘nondoing’. Don’t try to reach any place or be anywhere. Concentrate on loosening the body, and exhale stress away.

Notice Thoughts and Feelings

When a negative or stressful thought enters your head, try not to immediately react. Where is the feeling coming from? Have you felt it before? And are you able to simply tell it to stop? When we react blindly, it is usually due to a previous negative experience or an inherent fear. Step back and listen to yourself – you’ll probably realize that the world isn’t coming to an end.

Take a Stroll

Getting out of your cubicle (whether literal or figurative) is key. A change of scenery helps, but even more important is letting your mind wander freely, if only for a few minutes. Open your senses to the sights, sounds, and smells that surround you, and let complex emotions fall away for the time being.

Allow Yourself to Have FUN

This is a hard one. But until you really take time to notice how Mindfulness is positively affecting your mood and behavior, you won’t deepen your appreciation of the practice. Which means you won’t want to go further. The real joy will come when you can sit, stop, or walk and be mindful without feeling like there’s somewhere else you need to be.


A Matter of Perspective

 

The use of drone photography in real estate has become increasingly common, and for good reason. Drones make elevated imagery affordable; gone are the days of real estate companies shelling out thousands of dollars using airplane or helicopter shots. Drones can accomplish the same result at a fraction of the cost.

Today’s models even make for a smart investment at the individual agent level, starting at only a few hundred dollars. Furthermore, in June of 2016, the FAA lifted their restrictions on individual use of drones. Chicago-area photographers no longer require to obtain permits for devices weighing less than 55 lbs. In fact, as long as the drone pilot is at least 16 years of age, and passes a simple aeronautical knowledge test at an approved testing center, the average person can easily become an aerial Ansel Adams in a matter of days.

Seems like an easy trade off to get footage like this, no?

Video courtesy of Chicago Drone.

Aerial photography is no gimmick. It allows a seller to showcase an all-encompassing view of not just their home, but the entirety of the property. Going beyond still photographs, drone technology offers editable video footage. Imagine the benefits of being able to show a potential buyer the proximity to a nearby hospital, or the entirety of their child’s walk to school, simply by clicking a button on the online listing!

 

The prolificacy of drone usage in our industry will only increase in the near future. With more rules aimed at removing restrictions expected to be passed in the coming year, the sky is quite literally the limit for the future of real estate photography.


100 Washington – A Touch of Chicago Style in Michigan City

Welcome to d’aprile digs – a blog series where we highlight business and organizations that celebrate local color and character.

Those looking to escape the stress of city living need only head east, and travel 50 short miles from Chicago’s edge into Northwestern Indiana. The traffic slowly fades, your grip on the wheel relaxes, and you can finally exhale as the glistening shores of Lake Michigan come into view. Here, the beauty of Long Beach forms the northern border of Michigan City, a popular vacation destination for many looking to get away from nearby large cities.

But the city itself is far more than a length of shoreline. Built on a foundation of factories and freight, Michigan City has undergone a fairly dramatic transition in recent years, from a blue-collar burg to a flourishing community with endless potential for artistic and economic growth. It’s exactly this sort of duality that co-owners Jason Gatzka, Rob Andrzejak, and Frank Marrufo are looking to bridge with their stylish new lakefront bistro, 100 Washington. Pairing a little upscale Chicago style with one of the best views in Michigan City, they hope to become the go-to dining destination for vacationers and residents alike.

 

The Location

Serving as both the eatery’s namesake and address, 100 Washington is nestled on the southern shore of Lake Michigan in the the heart of downtown Michigan City. At over 100 years old, the building itself is brimming with history, originally erected as a train station depot in 1915. It is held in high regard by the locals as a vivid reminder of the transportation and lumber industry that strengthened the backbone of this great town.

A desire to preserve that classic look is exactly why Jason, the building’s owner, decided not to do a major renovation before opening the restaurant’s doors to the public on August 1st, 2016. After all, a sense of history brings with it an inherent style; and from the moment you step inside its doors, you can feel the establishment’s past blending perfectly with its stylish future.

The Menu

Inspired by the upscale cuisine of Chicago’s famous restaurant scene, the menu is intended to excite the palate of big city visitors and small town residents alike. As Marrufo tells it, the perfect entree is only the sum of the best and freshest ingredients. “We wanted to keep the menu limited, not overwhelm you with too many choices. We take cues from several different cultures, and deliveries come in three times a week to keep things fresh.”

Signature items range from the unique and trendy, to the fantastic yet familiar. Try the stone fire Forager Pizza, featuring wild mushrooms, crispy sage, and white truffle béchamel. Or for the heartier appetite, a fantastic 16 oz. Prime bone-in Ribeye (aged 21 days) may be more to your liking.

But while the goal is to appeal to everyone, they refuse to sacrifice quality. Andrzejak perfectly captures their position with six simple words: “No Ranch dressing, no mozzarella sticks.”

And it’s not just the food that entices.  The trio have taken steps to ensure that they feature the area’s finest local spirits in their handmade cocktails, in an effort to support quality nearby vendors. In fact, a request for a ‘Jack Daniels on the rocks’ results in a polite shake of the bartender’s head, and a confident suggestion of two fingers of Last Feather Rye by Journeyman Distillery as a better alternative.

Turns out, he’s not at all wrong.

 

The Vibe

Great location and great food are obvious staples for any successful restaurant. But a great ambiance can make all the difference in the world. A sign out in front of the building welcomes you to a “Social Kitchen & Drinkery,” and it’s this attitude that makes 100 Washington stand out. In fact, hearing Gatzka describe the personality of their place, it’s obvious that the co-owners are shooting for something more. “Great food yes, but it’s about the whole experience – from the minute you walk in that door until you head back out.”

There’s no better way to get that experience than by sitting near the crown jewel of the establishment: a large stone fire pit at the center of an ornate patio, complete with a fantastic sunset view of the lake.  And if you’re interested in staying past sundown, don’t worry; you’ll find no standard last call at 100 Washington.

As Andrzejak puts it, “If you’re not ready to go home, no one here is going to kick you out!”

All photos courtesy of Daren Huber Photography


#daprilecares: You Made It Happen!

John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

We couldn’t agree more, but we at d’aprile properties can’t help but first voice our endless gratitude, to all of you who helped us reach our goal for the JDRF One Walk this past week.  Through your generosity, and your grace, we were able to raise over $10,000 for Type 1 Diabetes research.  Because of you, our family has grown stronger.  Because of you, we’re prepared to keep fighting, for as long as it takes.

We vow to continue the battle against T1D, until a cure is found.  Until each and every one of our brothers and sisters who face this disease find peace, and the right to live their lives on their own terms.  With hope, nothing is impossible.  But don’t take our word for it – just look at the faces below.

From the bottom of our hearts, and the height of our spirits, we thank you.

 

 

 


Arlington Heights Halloween Coloring Contest

HALLOWEEN COLORING CONTEST RULES

AGE RESTRICTIONS

Contest for kids age 10 and under only. One entry per person.

CONTEST DEADLINE

Please submit the completed coloring sheet to d’aprile properties at 20 S. Dunton Avenue, Arlington Heights by noon on Tuesday, October 25th. Coloring sheets can be dropped off or mailed. If you drop off your coloring sheet and the office is locked, feel free to drop it through our mail slot on the front door.

MATERIALS

Complete the sheet using crayons, markers, paint or whatever speaks to the inner artist in you!

PRIZES

$25 Gift Card to Beat Street Toy Store located in downtown Arlington Heights. Three prizes will be awarded, one per age group: 4 and under, 5-7 year olds, 8-10 years olds

WINNER NOTIFICATION

Winners will be notified by phone by Friday, October 28th. Be sure to stop by d’aprile properties on Monday October 31st from 3-6pm during the Trick-or-Treat event in downtown Arlington Heights to see the winning entries and to get some candy!!

GOOD LUCK & HAVE FUN!

20 S. Dunton Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL 60005 | (847) 749-0842 


#daprilecares: A Step Forward

 

For almost a month now, we have been sharing the stories of our d’aprile family with you.  Each has come straight from the heart of one of our own affected by T1D, as they detail the struggle their families face each morning they wake.  But the point of all this was not to focus on the negative, on the strife.  They have been stories of bravery, of perseverance.  Of individuals who have been dealt a terrible hand, who choose to stand by each other, united.  Rather than let T1D knock them down, they choose to stand proud, and fight back.  Over the last month, many of you have offered to stand beside them, in any way that you can.  

For that, we here at d’aprile properties are forever grateful.

But anyone who has acted as a voice for change knows that it is not a road easily traveled.  If it were, there would be no battles left to fight.  It takes time, it takes true effort.  Inevitably, there will be a moment along the way where it seems as if real change is a horizon too distant to reach.  That’s when doubt begins to creep in, and many question whether their efforts hold merit.  The hard truth is, it is that very moment when we must find ourselves, and the strength to take that next step, no matter how tired or hopeless we may feel.  Because if we don’t fight with passion in our words and honesty in our actions, can we reasonably expect anyone to listen?

 

Our own Archie Vetter, and his nephew Jaret, diagnosed 12 years ago (now 22 years old)

That is why we are proud to applaud the amazing efforts of the JDRF organization, and the Type 1 Diabetes community as a whole.  This past Wednesday, their actions helped the good guys reach a significant milestone in the war against T1D.  On September 28th, the FDA approved the Medtronic hybrid closed loop system, the first ever to automate the dosing of insulin to reduce high blood sugar levels.  Akin to an artificial pancreas system, it allows people with T1D the ability to remain closer to their target blood sugar levels more consistently.  But perhaps more importantly, it represents a tangible victory in the battle against this loathsome disease.  It represents hope – hope that type 1 diabetics are not alone in this fight, and that a cure is possible in their lifetime.  

 

Randy (diagnosed 27 years ago) & Ava (4 years ago) Mihelich, fighting together, as always

But while a significant battle has been won, the war is far from over.  This Sunday, October 2nd, d’aprile properties will join the T1D community in JDRF’s One Walk.  This is JDRF’s flagship fundraiser, the largest T1D charitable event in the world.  People of all ages, cultures, and economic backgrounds will come together to make a statement.  And most importantly, they will walk side-by-side with those who are currently living with T1D, who refuse to sit on the sidelines and watch others fight their battles for them.  Their courage turns hope into something more.

Katie Mihelich and Liz Catalano, T1D mothers, with Ryan D’aprile (founder and CEO)

The window for donating to the cause has not closed – by simply following THIS LINK, you can pledge your support to this amazing organization, and do your part to create real change.  If you don’t have the money to spare, simply join us in the walk, and show your support and admiration for the resiliency of this community.  

And if you can’t join us today, do what you can to show your support tomorrow.  The cause will continue, long after this year’s One Walk is over.  It doesn’t stop when we hit our monetary goal.  We can’t rest, simply because we reached a critical milestone.  It ends when we find a cure.  When Luca, Ava, John, and all our other brothers and sisters can finally sleep easy at night, and wake up with a smile on their faces.  Ready to live their lives to the fullest.

We are greater than our sadness.  Because we know that joy is worth fighting for, every minute of every day.  Luckily, there is not a single one of us who has to fight alone.


#daprilecares: Meet John

John Hemmesch, husband, father, and Type 1 diabetic, describes what it takes to fight disease each and every day, to actually live his life to the fullest beside his amazing family.

Type 1 Diabetes is a debilitating, oppressive, and scary disease.  There is no cure.  Each and every day, my body is slowly trying to destroy itself. 

What do I do to SURVIVE?  Well, I am glad you asked!  Below is a picture I took just this morning.  That’s a lot of stuff, right?  Trust me, I did not take the picture for added shock value.  These are the things I need on a daily basis to SURVIVE.  And no, that is not a pager – it is an insulin pump.  None of these items are a novelty items, like having an iPhone.  These are the things that I rely on each and every day to SURVIVE. 

 
You can see the test strips that I use to test my blood sugar level at least 10 times a day.  With as far as technology has come, the only truly reliable way to test your blood sugar is via a finger prick blood test.  It’s not so bad, but heck I’m an “adult”.  I can’t help but feel for the kids (and their parents!) I’ve met over the years that have to go through these same routines. 
 
 
In the picture the infusion set looks like a clear ball.  It carries the insulin from the pump to my body via a tube (sort of like an IV) that I inject into my abdomen every three days.  Usually this injection doesn’t hurt too much, if at all.  BUT, occasionally you hit those spots just right where it hurts like heck (I call those ‘zingers’).   
 
The continuous glucose monitor sensor (CGM) is in the plastic packaging.  Now, this injection hurts!  Ever single time.  I change this every 6 days by injecting the sensor into a new location on my body.  I swear I am running out of real estate, that’s my excuse for adding more as time goes on.
 
You will notice that I still use old school syringes.  It’s inevitable that I always seem to run into pump problems at the worst possible times.  So, don’t judge me the next time you might see me with a syringe hanging out of my pocket!  I typically carry them with me everywhere I go.  But how scary are those things?  There is so much planning that goes into being a Type 1 diabetic.  It takes me longer to pack my diabetes supplies for a vacation than it does to pack everything else. 
 
Fear helps me SURVIVE.  I want to be around to walk my girls down the aisle.  I want, one day, to bounce a grandchild on my knee.  The fear of long term health effects associated with Type 1 keeps me going, and makes me a better diabetic.  The fear of having a low blood sugar interfere with coaching a hockey practice, or wrestling my two boys, causes me to be more attentive to my disease and test more often. 
 
The Type 1 community helps me SURVIVE.  I have met so many great and inspiring people of all ages that share this disease with me.  We have accomplished triathlons together, shared tricks of the trade, hacked our insulin pumps together.  But, the most inspiring Type 1 diabetics of all are the kids. They haven’t even lived long enough to possibly do anything to deserve such a disease.  Yet, they keep on keeping on, as kids do.  They go through their days and lives with most people not even knowing that they are living with a lifelong disease.  They are so resilient and hopeful, they are what makes the future look bright as a diabetic, and as a human being. 
 
So many times I have been told, “Hey, at least you can SURVIVE it,” as if that is any consolation.  Type 1 is still trying to kill me each and every day.  I don’t want to go through life just to SURVIVE it.  I want to LIVE it.  I don’t want to constantly worry about this disease and what the damage it is causing to my body.  I want to LIVE my life free of Type 1.  To LIVE free of the physical and mental damage that Type 1 causes me.
 
There is only one way for me and fellow Type 1 diabetics to LIVE a life that is not centered around our disease, and that is by finding a cure.
 

#daprilecares: Meet Ava!

Katie Mihelich, Mother, d’aprile Realtor, and proud soldier in the fight against T1D, writes about her daughter Ava, whose indomitable spirit is an inspiration to everyone she meets.

Here we are four years later and I can’t believe how far we’ve come. Like Liz, I had no idea what to expect and that first year was so hard. No one ever wants to see their kids sick or hurt and all you want to do is make it better. It’s what we do. We’re Moms. We’re Dads. But this was something that we couldn’t take away. There was no cure.

Ava was diagnosed on January 22, 2013 at four years old. The previous day, she was learning how to ice skate with Daddy at the local ice rink, and enjoying a fun day off for the Martin Luther King holiday. Ava had been so excited for this day and couldn’t wait to try on the ice skates. However, something wasn’t right.

As she made her first loop, she urged daddy to take her to the bathroom and for something to drink. They stopped and took a quick break. As they continued, Ava could not make the loop without needing more to drink and having to stop in the bathroom. She was extremely thirsty and nothing would stay in her.

Ava was one of the lucky kids whose signs and symptoms were evident early and who had a father that was well aware of the symptoms. He was diagnosed at 11. Randy’s heart sank at the thought, and every ounce of him wanted to believe it wasn’t true. He knew we had to test her and find out. So we did. Less than 10% of Type 1 Diabetics have it in their family.

It was the longest five seconds of our lives as we waited for the meter to tell us her blood sugar. Only to then be crushed at the reality. Ava had Type 1 Diabetes.

We were quickly admitted to the hospital and would stay for three days to learn everything we could about Ava’s diabetes and how to manage it, both medically and emotionally.

She was so brave the first day and continued to make everyone smile. But after a rough night of continuous checks and insulin shots, she woke up on day two with the reality that this is forever. She would need to take shots and test her sugar several times a day for the rest of her life. We would have to count everything she ate, consider her activity, her stress levels, excitement, hormones, illnesses, and the time of day, to then make dosing decisions on how much insulin to give — a drug that if you gave too much of or too little of could have detrimental results. That’s a lot to take in at any age, especially for a four year old.

Together, as a family, we adjusted to our new normal and did everything we could to be involved, educated, and to stay healthy. We vowed to NOT let diabetes keep her from doing anything; she would follow her dreams.

Ava continues to bring joy to everyone she meets. She loves music, animals, and nature. She’s a state champion cheerleader, plays club soccer, and has become an advocate for Type 1 Diabetes with various speaking events and camps. She’s an amazing friend and cares for everyone she meets.  We’ve met amazing families in the Type 1 community and are incredibly grateful for the support from friends and family.

Technology and science have continued to advance every year. Ava wears an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM) that monitors her blood sugar. Four years ago, we never imagined having an app on our phone that alerts us and her school nurse of her blood sugar, and whether she’s dropping or rising too quickly.

Every night when she goes to bed, we pray that she will wake up. We check her sugar at least once in the middle of the night. When she sleeps in, I find myself double checking to make sure she’s just sleeping. It’s a scary reality for parents and patients of Type 1 Diabetes, but it’s what we do.

A lot has changed in the 20+ years since Randy’s diagnosis. I took for granted everything he went through, and continues to go through 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There’s no time off. Every thought, every decision, and every action involves thinking about Type 1 Diabetes.

My hope is that we will find a cure for Type 1Diabetes in our lifetime. And every advancement that makes life easier for T1D is a step closer to a cure. Whether it’s the artificial pancreas, bionic pancreas, encapsulation, or an islet or pancreas transplant – they will better the lives of people living with T1D, and hopefully get us that much closer to a cure. I would encourage you to learn more about these advancements coming in the future.  Every dollar we raise that goes to research, gets us that much closer to a cure.

I am so proud of my husband and daughter. And I pray every day for the children and families living with Type 1 Diabetes. Thank you for listening and for your support in the fight to Turn Type One Into Type None. Let’s all fight together.


#daprilecares: Meet Luca

Liz Catalano – Mother, Realtor, and cherished member of the d’aprile family – talks about her son Luca, and the courage he shows daily, living with T1D.

My son Luca was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 5, just 6 months ago.

The day Luca was diagnosed is a day that I will never forget. Seeing my little boy hooked up to machines in the ICU was terrifying, and the news of his diagnosis was most shocking. At the point Luca was brought to the hospital, he had very quickly lost 20% of his body weight over the previous couple days, and was in a diabetic coma. I remember my heart feeling heavy when the nurse would come into his room throughout each day to prick his finger to check his blood sugar numbers, and then administer insulin shots.  Every single time Luca would cry out, “Not this again.”  In those moments, it was painful to imagine Luca’s new life involving these finger pricks, test strips, meters, lancets, carb counting for everything he consumed, pumps, syringe needles, insulin shots…every single day.  February 15th, 2016 would be the last day he would ever go without having an injection to manage his Diabetes.

As Luca spent a week in the hospital getting better and growing more accustomed to nurses and needles, my husband and I were educated on how to take care of our little boy with Type 1 Diabetes.  We were beyond grateful to bring Luca home, and we vowed that we would do everything to keep our brave superhero alive and well.

Every day brings new and difficult challenges of living with this disease.  Diabetes management is a full-time 24/7 job that we didn’t apply for, and didn’t want – but will never quit.  It involves thinking about what, when, and how much to eat, while also factoring in exercise, medication, stress, blood sugar monitoring, and so much more – each and every single day. Even though Luca’s diabetes is constantly monitored and he’s enthusiastic about eating a healthy diet, there are many times when Luca’s blood sugar numbers are all over the map for no apparent reason – affecting his mood, behavior, and energy levels.  And when his blood sugar numbers are within range, and he’s smiling ear to ear playing with his favorite garbage truck toys?  It is the absolute best feeling to see Luca thrive despite Diabetes, and doing his favorite things.

We are so grateful for all the emotional support we have received from family & friends, including valuable information & advice from Type 1 Diabetics who have had the disease for 10+ years, and their parents. After chatting with these adults (who were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as children), it is interesting to hear about Diabetes then, and see all the amazing advances to the treatment of Diabetes now.  I find this gives me the MOST hope that more advances are coming for people living with Type 1 Diabetes.  Personally, it gives me so much optimism for Luca’s future with this disease – and perhaps, someday, without.

Diabetes touches so many lives and it’s time we reach out and do our part to end this disease. Help all Type 1 Diabetics, including my little Luca, turn Type One into Type None – they need a cure! I thank you so much for your love & support, and please join us for our 1st JDRF walk towards a cure!