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In Celebration of Women's History Month: A mother's determination

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When thinking about a single source of inspiration to celebrate March 2019 Women’s History Month, I am drawn, particularly at this point in time, to Barbara Davis.

In 1977 Barbara Davis, along with husband Marvin, established the Children’s Diabetes Foundation with a mission to raise funds to support programs at The Barbara Davis Center, one of the largest diabetes institutes in the world that specializes in Type 1 diabetes research and care.

When faced with a life altering diagnosis for their youngest daughter, Barbara Davis could have taken this news and turned inward, focused only on the care and needs of her little girl. As a family with the financial and social means to find the best care for her they certainly could have stopped there. However, Barbara Davis made the courageous decision to step out of what can be a very isolating diagnosis for the entire family and instead put her money and influence towards ensuring that all children afflicted by Type 1 receive better options, better care, and the hope for an eventual cure.

The strength and resolve that it took to say, we are going to enter this fight, not just for our daughter, but as advocates for all children is inspiring and I am grateful for it. In that moment, where fear and sadness could have reigned, she took that energy and said what is currently known and available about this disease isn’t good enough. We will do more. As a result she has impacted more than just the over 6,000 patients at The Barbara Davis Center, she has made a mark on the lives of millions by kicking off a movement to learn more, treat more efficiently, and move closer to a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

I am grateful to Barbara Davis for her decision to change the face of Type 1 Diabetes and I am inspired to learn from how she took a difficult challenge and created opportunity and hope.

Her focus and determination to bring the best for her daughter reminds me of another woman who has been an inspiration and guide for me —my own Mom who has always been there for me. Whether it is advice I need, a good laugh, or a shoulder to cry on, she is there. She has defined the role of Mom as someone who loves unconditionally and offers never ending support. I can only hope to follow in her footsteps.

Suzanne McKee