Friday, 28 August 2009

An Ode to Anne-Marie

I’ve been an administrator on a diabetes support forum for a while now – it’s where I first started posting my poems and they do seem to be well received. At the end of June I happened to mention on the forum that I was going to start recording my training diary on the blog, and was asked by several members if I would be running for charity as they would be happy to sponsor me. Last year I ran on behalf of Diabetes UK, but haven’t been too impressed with them in recent months, so wanted to raise money for an alternative charity. I finally settled on JDRF – the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This is an organisation dedicated to finding the causes, new treatments, and hopefully one day, the cure for Type 1 diabetes. Now, I developed diabetes well into adulthood, but on the forum I have heard many stories from parents, teenagers and young adults about how diabetes has come into their lives and how they are struggling to ensure a happy healthy future in spite of it.

Type 1 diabetes is a very distressing diagnosis for parents, who then have to subject their often uncomprehending young child to regular injections and finger prick tests daily, and without respite. The condition is also increasing by 4% a year, and it can, it seems, strike any family. Research into finding a cure or methods of prevention, therefore are of extreme importance and JDRF are at the forefront of this research.

I have been extremely moved by the support I have received from the forum members, who have never met me, yet have still given generously to my fundraising appeal! I am at the current moment 80% of the way to my target in less than two weeks since launching the appeal. I decided to try and encourage more donations by setting a competition. People have to guess what my finishing blood glucose level will be at the end of the race and, as a tie-breaker, estimate my finishing time. The prizes are a copy of The Discovery of Insulin, by Michael Bliss, and two runners-up prizes of a personalised poem written by me. One sponsor, Anne-Marie, decided that she wanted the poem without competing for it and sponsored me an extra £10 to provide it! Here is the result, which she is very happy with (thank goodness, one always doubts one’s creative works!). A few words of explanation: she is a Type 1 who follows a low carbohydrate diet, is an insomniac, and is also the forum’s most prolific poster! I do have to keep her and her friend Katie in line – but it is all light-hearted fun which I think other forum members appreciate!

She’s a carbophobiac, and here’s the reason why,
Just the mention of a twiglet will send her levels high!
Potatoes, bread and pasta are to her an evil vice,
No matter what the GI is for white basmati rice!

She’s also an insomniac and cannot sleep at night,
It’s often three or four a.m. when she turns out the light!
But Katie keeps her company, for the two of them are twins –
It’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other one begins!

She’s perfectly prolific, posting quips the whole day long,
And finds the ideal video if you’re searching for a song…
She’s filled with prawns and omelettes, and eggs of every kind –
A girl whose lips eat fewer chips, I doubt you’ll ever find!

If the forum was without her it would be a duller place,
For though she thinks that Northerner is always on her case,
He thinks she’s kind and generous, and full of good support,
She’ll be right there for anyone without a second thought!

So, here’s my ode to Anne-Marie, who used to live down South,
Admirer of the rugby men, with the occasional ‘potty’ mouth!
And should they ever find the cure, let’s hope it’s not her fate
That it consists of one huge pill that’s high in carbohydrate!

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