A little girl named Catchie, Hurricane Sandy and a canceled marathon

When the New York City Marathon was canceled, it delayed a relief effort by one man who was running to raise money for a cure for diabetes. But it didn't stop him.

CHARLOTTENovember 7, 2012 – Catchie McDonald was born on May 3, 2006. She was a happy, healthy little girl in every respect. Her dream was to grow up to be a princess because that’s what all five-year old girls do and Catchie was no different.

Catchie’s life forever changed in November, 2011 when she was rushed from her pediatrician’s office to an emergency room where she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Frantically doctors worked for two days to lower her blood sugar while constantly checking to make certain there were no signs of organ damage.

In a matter of hours, Catchie’s dream of being a princess had become a nightmare of fear and uncertainty as she battled for her life. 

In the end, the doctors prevailed. Catchie was stabilized and the immediate threat to her young life was over.

But that is when Catchie’s new life began. A life filled with constant monitoring of her blood sugar. Her body will never again produce insulin on its own. If the blood sugar goes too low, Catchie could go into a coma. If it gets too high, she could get diabetic ketoacidosis which would severely damage her organs. For the little girl who wanted to become a princess, life was now a steady series of pin pricks and insulin shots.

Thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, Catchie now wears an insulin pump, which has reduced some of the painful treatments, but her life still is dominated by Type 1 Diabetes.

Catchie McDonald is fighting diabetes

So what does all this have to do with Hurricane Sandy, and why should it matter?

After considerable research by Catchie’s dad, Angus, he decided to run in the New York City Marathon to increase awareness of Type 1 Diabetes and to raise money for JDRF, formerly known as Junior Diabetes Research Foundation.

JDRF’s mission is “to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D.”

Though running the New York City Marathon had long been a goal for Angus, it was now something deeper and more meaningful. It had become a commitment to his daughter and to other little princesses and future athletes and just plain every day people to aid in the research and development that would lead to a cure.

As Sandy approached the northeast, Angus and his wife Betsy, followed its path with mixed emotions throughout the week. Eventually the NYC Marathon would be canceled, which was the right thing to do, but for Angus and Betsy there was also a sense of emptiness that their efforts to fight for T1D could not be fulfilled.

Not knowing whether the marathon would be canceled, Angus had a decision to make. He could go to New York anyway and try to offer assistance to victims in need or he could do something else.

In the end, Angus chose to call his hotel and request that his room be made available for someone, anyone, an unknown, and probably unsuspecting, person who would come to be in need of the space after the storm.

For Angus and Betsy, seeing the devastation in New York and New Jersey was heart-wrenching even though the marathon itself would have been the culmination of a lifelong dream and provide financial assistance to an organization with which he was now intimately involved.

This is one story that does have a happy ending, however. Angus will continue training and make his charitable run at the Thunder Road Marathon on November 17th in Charlotte, North Carolina

In the end, Catchie, and countless others like her, will be the beneficiaries of a 26.2 mile run that could not be destroyed but was merely delayed by the forces of Mother Nature.

You may contribute to JDRF through Angus McDonald.

Hopefully, thanks to Angus McDonald, and others like him, all the princesses of the world can go back to dreaming again.

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in Charlotte, NC. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club, which creates, and escorts customized tours to Switzerland, France and Italy for groups of 12 or more.

Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 70 countries. 

 Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.


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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

 

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