News and Tribune

Floyd County

March 1, 2014

DAWSON: The dynamic mother-daughter duo

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Although just 9 years old, Rebecca Moody’s vocabulary reveals a child who is wise beyond her years.  

As the cafeteria full of Georgetown Elementary third-graders were quieted by Principal Rhonda Benz, Rebecca learned she would be recognized as an Extra Miler. Upon realizing she was not just being interviewed for work promoting Type I Diabetes (T1D) research and education, Rebecca’s large dark eyes flashed a mix of wonder and intrigue.

Diagnosed with T1D shortly after her second birthday, Rebecca’s efforts to raise awareness and money to advance research for a cure for this disease have been remarkable. However, behind every successful child, there typically is an encouraging role model. Rebecca’s mother, Wendy Moody, is the wind beneath her wings. Since the diagnosis, the two have become the dynamic duo by promoting awareness of the disease, advocating for research funding, and creating a sense of community among families in Southern Indiana who have children dealing with T1D.

Immediately after Rebecca’s diagnosis, Wendy and her husband realized they knew few others dealing with the disease, especially with a child so young. There were lots of instructions, needles, pain, tears, hospitals and doctors to deal with and very little meaningful support.      

It was at a faith conference that Wendy learned how to turn their pain into a purpose. Since then, Wendy and Rebecca have made it their priority to educate and to be supportive of other families who are dealing with T1D.

“Rebecca isn’t just a diabetic child,” Wendy explains, “diabetes is not who these children are — parents should be careful to not let it define them. Rebecca is simply a child...dealing with a disease. We don’t let it control her.”    

The disease has not slowed down Rebecca, who plays multiple sports. Her favorite sport is softball. When asked if her insulin pump ever gets in her way with sports, Rebecca explained, “I try to wear it where it will not get hit by the ball, but sometimes it gets hit anyway. It can hurt quite a bit, but that would never stop me from playing.”  

While describing the pain, Rebecca never dropped her smile. She does not focus on the negative and self-pity is foreign to her.  

Rebecca and Wendy went as delegates to the 2013 JDRF Conference in Washington, D.C. JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. Rebecca met with politicians to tell her story and promote support for continued research for a cure.  

She also attends T1D camps. Wendy has been instrumental in bringing regional T1D camps to our area as outreach events for families to learn how their children can participate and stay active.  

Rebecca beams when talking about the camps she attends. She said, “It is nice to know you are not alone and to have friends who have the same thing I do — they understand what I deal with while most do not.”   

Georgetown Elementary nurse Sherry Stanfield said that children in school with T1D learn the route to her office well.  “Individuals with T1D want a cure, but Rebecca goes beyond that in wanting the cure for all who have T1D…it isn’t just personal. As for Wendy, significantly giving back to our community is her nature.”

When asked how T1D has impacted her life, Rebecca stated, “I like to make others feel better. If I see a kid who is down or sad, it is important to me to try to make them feel better by making them laugh. We should all be nice to others; we don’t know what they are dealing with in their lives.”  

Wendy describes her daughter as being selfless, while Rebecca describes her mother as being helpful to others. She is right, as Wendy is not only extremely involved with T1D projects; she is also a mentor and advocate in the school system and volunteers as the children’s director at Faithpoint UMC in Floyds Knobs.  

Wendy’s favorite quote came from Rebecca’s doctor who told her, “Your daughter will see a cure for diabetes in her lifetime.”  She holds him to that promise.  

Wendy and Rebecca, the work you do makes a positive difference for families who are dealing with T1D and with your continued efforts, there very well may be a cure in your lifetime. Thank you for dedicating your life to help others and for being Southern Indiana Extra Milers.

TIP OF THE MONTH:  Our Extra Milers have these tips for our readers:  Rebecca: “Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t stop you from living a normal life — you can live your life just like any other kid. Don’t worry — be happy!”  

Wendy: “If you have something in your life that hurts, that keeps you from moving forward — find a way to turn it around — find your greater purpose in the situation and figure out how to make someone else’s life better. We need to live in community — sharing our pain and our knowledge so someone else can find healing. Along the way, we realize those efforts have diminished our own pain.”  

To learn more about T1D, go to: www.JDRF.org or call: (800) 533-2873.

EXTRA MILER UPDATE:  On Feb. 12, 2014, the heart of a lion stopped beating. Coach Scott Bostock, our October 2013 Extra Miler, passed away from cancer after saying goodbye to family and friends who loved and admired him. He made our world better.    

— Carol A. Dawson is a resident of Jeffersonville and owner of EEO GUIDANCE, Inc.  If you have seen or been a part of an act of kindness or know an EXTRA MILER, please contact her.  To submit an Extra Miler, a story, or act of kindness, contact Carol via email:  Cdawson@eeoguidance.com, mail: THE EXTRA MILERS, The News-Tribune, 221 Spring Street Jeffersonville, IN  47130-3340.

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