OSWEGO, NY – Man up, Marine – don’t let a little injury stop you!
OK, Julie Chetney is neither a man nor Marine. But her courage and determination would be welcome in any USMC platoon.
The local mother of four will be running 26 miles next month in the Marine Corps Marathon.
“I am a mother to four great amazing kids. And like most mothers, I tell them we are blessed with what God has given us every day for our family – even if it’s the struggles day in and day out with Type 1 Diabetes,” she said.
Her 12-year-old son has had T1D since he was two years old and her 13-year-old daughter has had it since age 10.
The marathon is scheduled for Oct. 26 and will benefit The Joslin Diabetes Center.
Chetney had been training for weeks to get in shape for the fundraiser. Recently, she went for a morning jog of 15 miles.
“I am running now about 35 miles a week. But I encountered an injury a little while ago and took a week off of running. Hoping to heal completely,” she told Oswego County Today. “The little injury put me off running for a few more days. Just biked 35 miles though!”
Usually, when she does anything difficult in life, she thinks about “these two kids of mine and how whatever I am faced with, it’s nothing compared to what they have to endure for the rest of their lives.”
So, the challenge of running in a marathon will be no different.
“Since I decided I wanted to do this, the opportunity has presented that I can also help the people who have helped our family for the past 10 years – The Joslin Diabetes Center,” she said.
To donate go to: https://www.crowdrise.com/fundraise-and-volunteer/donate-desktop/project/jdc2014marinecorpsmarathon/juliechetney
“The medical professionals at Joslin have been part of our lives since February 2004 when they showed up at the hospital room where my son was recently released from ICU due to high blood sugars where we almost lost him. Yes, we really almost lost him to a blood sugar that was more than 1,000!” she said. “Joslin came in and helped my husband, Brian, and I – socially, emotionally and medically through this tragic time of diagnosis. Although we were relieved he was medically stable, we were frightened about what the future would bring with T1D.”
Quite frankly, she admits, they were in shock – scared, uncertain, depressed and angry.
Joslin professionals helped the family through it all.
“They were the ones who showed up that day at the hospital and helped us believe and gain the confidence that we needed to take care of our baby. They were the ones who gave us the knowledge to stick needles into our baby four to five times a day and stick those little fingers up to 10 times a day. They were the ones who helped us get our baby healthy again,” Chetney said.
Over the years, the Joslin professionals have fielded many late-night calls from the Chetneys when they were uncertain what to do when they had a sick diabetic child, or when they couldn’t get sugars down or when the stomach bug hit a household of six and two diabetic kids couldn’t keep a cup of juice down.
“As my baby grew older and my daughter was then diagnosed, Joslin helped us understand how to cope with what I referred to as “getting struck by lightning twice,” she said. “Although it was a traumatic time for us, it was especially hard on my 10-year-old daughter who knew exactly what it all meant given she had seen her younger brother and his struggles for years. Now she was the one scared, uncertain, depressed and very angry.”
Joslin helped her to be independent, gave her the tools and confidence that she needed to get healthy and maintain the lifestyle that she needed to live with diabetes. Joslin helped her to accept her diagnosis and maintain a “normal” life as she has known it.
Joslin is located at 750 E. Adams St., Syracuse. For more information, visit: www.joslin.org
Recently, the Chetneys’ other two children (ages 3 and 10) were able to participate in a study through the Joslin center and the University Hospital that looked into the sibling connections to Type 1 diabetes as well.
“While we anxiously awaited to find out if they too had the T1D anti-bodies, we are relieved to say lightning has NOT struck again,” Chetney said.
And so, she has decided to run a marathon to give a little back to those who have given her family so much over the years.
“Running 26 miles will not be an easy task. It is this story and the struggles of my two kids that will get me to the finish line,” she said. “If you are able, please consider donating to my cause and supporting this very important medical center in our community.”