Sébastien Sasseville, on the other hand? Type 1 diabetic about to embark on his own extended marathon from Signal Hill, NL, to Victoria, BC, in order to demonstrate that diabetes needn't be a barrier to reaching one's goals ... I dunno. The guy himself seems, from the very little I know, perfectly congenial and well-meaning, and there's a lot to be said for someone like him demonstrating to bummed-out diabetic kids (or adults) that their life isn't over ... so I need to work a bit to figure out why his run doesn't excite me very much.
It's one of the things I pondered while Freddie and I walked yesterday ...
Part of it could simply be that he's not Terry Fox. Not as young, or as innocent ... as fragile, or, I'd venture to guess, as tough.
It could be the slick media and corporate machinery that he and his supporters have built up around this and other big athletic challenges that M. Sasseville has undertaken in his career as a motivational person ... the commodification of inspiration??
Maybe it's Sébastien Sasseville's connection to Mount Everest (he boasts the title of first Canadian T1 diabetic to summit Everest) and, thus, to the culture of "conquering nature." Does anyone remember that IMAX movie about a particularly disastrous Everest expedition? As I recall, the movie treated the participants in the expedition as heroes (including a group leader whose wife was roughly 7 months pregnant when he left home for the climb, only to perish on the peak). Heroes? I thought they were kind of selfish and stupid — but that seemed to be a minority opinion!
(Speaking of conquering nature, here's Freddie, conquering a serious log!)
Faustman Lab (or some other underfunded, cure-obsessed organization), so you and I can do whatever wacky, inspirational shit we want to do ... WITHOUT DIABETES?!
I do hope Sébastien's run is a success — in Diabetes Land, as elsewhere, there's no such thing as bad press (well, except the kind that claims T1 can be cured with a raw food diet or cinnamon extract etc.) — and I hope he makes it out here for his target date of November 14th, 2014 (World Diabetes Day / Dr. Banting's birthday). Despite my reservations, I can imagine getting excited about his arrival ... maybe even taking Freddie to meet him.
Still ... personal connections nothwithstanding, it's hard for me to imagine the Outrun Diabetes campaign, or any other Big Heroic Undertaking of its kind, being able to stir me quite like Terry Fox's low-tech, low-profile, highly inspirational Marathon of Hope.
Have an inspired weekend, everyone!