When I launched my first online auction for diabetes research in 2005, I had no idea I would still be running the fundraiser ten years later. I started it because I wanted to make a difference to my son, who was diagnosed at five years old, and everyone else suffering from this terrible disease (over 350 million people have diabetes worldwide). But I honestly thought we’d have a cure by now. Ever since we first learned that Thad faced this challenge, I’ve been hearing that a cure is right around the corner—but it hasn’t been found. And when you slug away at something for a long time, and it doesn’t feel as if you’re making enough of an impact, it can be tempting to give up. But in those moments of discouragement, something always happens to keep me going. Many times it’s something positive, like having my son put his arms around my neck and tell me how much he loves me.
Not all of them are quite so positive, however—like last year when the cannula that feeds Thad insulin from his pump got bent, causing his blood sugar to spike. At bedtime, he began to feel very sick. When he tested his blood, we learned why. His glucose levels were over 700 (a normal person’s bg would be around 100). Knowing something terrible would happen if I didn’t get his blood sugar into a safe zone as soon as possible, I was up all night, worrying, watching and working to do just that. I’d give him insulin, test him in two hours, give him more insulin, test him again, etc. Then, because he wasn’t coming down fast enough and I was so afraid he’d go into a coma, I overcorrected and brought him plummeting to 30 (a very dangerous number on the opposite side that left his body bathed in sweat as he started to go into shock).
I eventually stabilized him (as much as a diabetic can be stabilized since blood glucose can change so rapidly) and we haven’t had such a terrible night since. But there have been other close calls. That probably won’t stop until we have a cure. And there are certainly worse stories than mine. Almost everybody’s heard one—diabetes causing blindness, amputation, heart attack, kidney failure, fatty liver, impotence, death. It’s the specter of these things that keeps me fighting. I believe this is a disease we can beat with enough determination and focus, so I’m thrilled that the DRI (the research facility that gets the money I raise) is entering human trials with their new Biohub this year. The Biohub has made the possibility of a cure feel real for me again.
So how does Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research work? Just like E-Bay—only it’s more fun. This year, those who register before the auction closes on May 31st (http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com) will receive a digital copy of one of my books—WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES, the first book in my Whiskey Creek series, or THROUGH THE SMOKE, my new historical romantic suspense title (registrant’s choice). And we’ll be giving away other items throughout. You will be entered to win the various giveaways simply by placing a bid on any particular day. When the auction is over, you can pay for what you’ve won with Paypal, credit card (or, with special arrangements, personal check/money order). In most instances, the donor picks up the tab for shipping.