Having survived 27 years with type 1 diabetes, triple bypass open heart surgery, two pancreas transplants and two cancer diagnoses, I feel very fortunate to be so healthy now. I have a transplanted pancreas producing insulin, and have achieved five years of remission.
This brings me to share an analogy on what is possible when we pursue our dreams, call upon our human spirit to rise above man’s most threatening diseases, and most importantly, are there for other human beings who are also faced with the demands of disease.
There are two animals who characterize what it is like to live with and beat life’s most dangerous diseases. One is the wild horned ram that lives in the deep canyons of Hawaii. The other is the masked Siberian husky. Each possesses a unique combination of qualities that help make it more likely to survive and thrive with when facing harsh demands.
The ram displays a rugged independence, and is able to stand alone against the harsh realities of the wilderness. The ram is determined to find a way that works for him. He is strong, can endure discomfort and always rise to the next level of rocks, brush and vegetation. Ultimately, he is a daring climber.
The Siberian husky is a quiet, self-reflective leader with a mask that distinguishes his bold face. He is tender, compassionate, free-spirited and optimistic. The husky’s special skill is his enormous endurance through a tundra that takes a toll on his body. The husky is more loyal than the ram and also shows more warmth. The ram is a challenger with a feisty attitude.
As a result of knowing anything is possible, I cherish each and every day I’m alive. But an even more special and rewarding, is the joy of helping others who have medical needs, so they too can receive the same chances in life as I have. As each of us work together to accomplish this, it’s comforting to know that the spiritual qualities so eloquently expressed by the husky and the ram are in all of us.