This devoted mom pulled together some of Wine Country’s most impressive bottlings and lots to help raise a total of $1.3 million for Type 1 Diabetes research.
Stephanie and husband Michael, co-vintners of Rutherford’s Honig Vineyards and Winery, have a daughter – Sophia – who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was five years old.
For the uninitiated Type 1 Diabetes is rare, an autoimmune disease, while Type 2 Diabetes is much more common and it has to do with lifestyle, diet and exercise. Sophia won’t grow out of Type 1 Diabetes unless there’s a cure.
Last Friday’s fundraising event, put on by Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), was at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco and the silent auction had a room full of striking bottlings. Among the lots were a case of 2006 vintage Heitz Martha’s Vineyard; a magnum of Caymus Vineyards Special Select; and a magnum of Pahlmeyer 2008 Proprietary Red.
John Shrewsberry, a Wells Fargo executive who lives in Piedmont, said he is a big supporter of the charity.
“I will probably spend a lot of money tonight,” he said as he perused the silent auction lots before heading into dinner and the live auction. “We’ll see where the mood takes us.”
The disease, as expected, inspired plenty of compassionate bidding, and Stephanie’s fundraising efforts alone raised $70,000-plus.
Sophia’s disease makes each day for the Honig family a dramatic struggle of life and death. Every day Stephanie and Michael monitor Sophia’s insulin intake and the very substance that keeps her alive could just as well kill her if she’s given the wrong amount. This is a daunting realization but they step up in parenting to be their daughter’s most trusted day-to-day medical specialist.
Sophia has to wear an insulin pump and has to have the carbohydrates she eats monitored around the clock. Stephanie goes to bed at 11 p.m. and then wakes up at 2 a.m. and again at 4 a.m. to check Sophia.
I went to the charity auction and tired mothers sat on either side of me, sharing their personal stories of how they have championed this disease. It made me realize how powerful a mother’s love is. It’s a story that’s told over and over again in the classics and more recently in Harry Potter.
I think of Stephanie with her big, brown tired eyes and I smile knowing Type 1 Diabetes is no match for a mother’s love.