AUTHOR'S NOTE/UPDATE: I originally posted this blog on May 12th, 2009, celebrating 6 years of friendship with Lindsay. The reason this is partially an update is, you can scratch out "girlfriend" when it comes to her relationship with her boyfriend Trae Huffman...and write in "fiancee" - they got engaged this past weekend. I am proud to say I know both of these individuals and I know they will have a great life together. So, here's the classic post. Oh, and next up is a separate "I Like...Because..." post written this morning about Trae himself.
Above: Myself and Lindsay, September 6, 2008 following the JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes.
So, tonight I would like to spotlight a friend who has dealt with a devastating disease for ten years, but yet has never once said "poor me", never gave up and never quit. This friend is Lindsay Zeis.
Lindsay is 23 years old. She was diagnosed just over ten years ago with Type One Diabetes. The disease has ravaged her body on the inside, but it has not destroyed the heart of this wonderful young lady. She has inspired ME to never give up on occasions when even I had my moments of breakdown, where I just wanted to quit fighting my own battle with Spina Bifida.
Lindsay and I first met in 2003, at Boone County High School. We never really spoke much before that time, but we had crossed paths well before...having gone to two schools together (Ockerman Middle and Boone County High). The way I met Lindsay was that we both were nominated to the Homecoming Court for Basketball Homecoming. I didn't have anybody to escort, and Lindsay chose me. That began our six year friendship.
We continued to talk through much of 2003, and all the way to graduation in 2004. I knew of her diabetes. How could I not? When someone you're friends with misses school more than a couple times a year, you kind of have to expect that there is something serious. Add to that that I knew the signs of diabetes because of my stepdad, and you can see how 2 + 2 began to equal four in my mind.
I lost touch with Lindsay after graduation for awhile. In that time, her condition got worse. Sometime after a Conner vs Boone game both of us attended, Lindsay began to drastically lose weight. She wound up on a feeding tube, because she couldn't eat. Through it all, I know the heart inside Lindsay did not want to give up. She allowed doctors to use experimental methods to save her life. When I saw her in February 2008, she looked better than ever, and was just the same as I had known her to be when I was in school with her.
After that, we started communicating off and on through Facebook here. And in August 2008, I was surprised to learn of the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Newport. I decided I would attend and would walk with Lindsay. I did so on September 6, 2008. I was proud to do so, for a wonderful friend like her.
Lindsay not only has a heart that will never quit, she is a sweetheart. I cannot even begin to count the number of times she's been willing to drop everything and run to her friends. And I know there's been things she has either said, or written to me, that have left me with the biggest smile on my face.
Lindsay also is a devoted family woman. She is a loving girlfriend to Trae Huffman, who I had the pleasure to meet at the JDRF Walk last year. Her family is really blessed that they have her, as she will do whatever she needs to for them.
All of these are reasons why I like Lindsay. As I say about all my facebook friends, if you are one of her friends, go drop by, let her know you read this note, and let her know how much you appreciate her friendship.
Courage + Belief = LIFE
Christmas at the Log Cabin
10 months ago