Did you know that the Walk to Cure Diabetes is JDRF’s largest fundraiser across the country? More than 200 Walks are held every year in the United States, and dozens more take place internationally. More than 600,000 people participate each year. Since 1992, the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes has raised more than $1 billion for T1D research! And we have reached this milestone through the donations, large and small, raised by our walkers, JUST LIKE YOU!
Walk Team Spotlight: Team MASON-DIXON
Team Captain, April Lowe
Why do you walk? - This year I will be participating in my first ever JDRF Walk. Unlike most people with type 1, I did not suffer from this illness as a child. It wasn’t until the year of my wedding that things started to go wrong. I had all the textbook symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes – constant thirst and urination, extreme weight loss, tiredness, vision problems… but day by day it was easy to write these things off as wedding jitters or moving stress. By the end of summer 2009 I weighed less than 100 pounds, and concerned friends and family encouraged me to go to the emergency room. My blood sugar was so high that it would not register on the meter, and I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 24.
Fast forward 4 years… now I have good control of my blood sugars, and my doctors say I am one of the “best diabetics” they know. I was able to safely carry and deliver a healthy baby boy. But it is not easy to achieve this in my day to day life. Let me share a glimpse of the burden that millions of diabetics deal with on a day to day basis. We must check our blood sugar and inject insulin multiple times a day. We spend an enormous amount of time reading food labels and planning meals. Most any social occasion involving food presents plenty of opportunities for us to feel embarrassed, frustrated, and just plain deprived. We constantly feel like we are playing a guessing game, hoping that we take the right amount of insulin for what we are eating. Every day we walk a tight rope between high blood sugars (where we become tired, thirsty, and are at risk for nerve, kidney, and vision damage) and low blood sugars (where we become confused, sweaty, and shaky). Every night we go to sleep with the worry that we won’t wake up the next morning. Not to mention dealing with the normal pressures of work, families and life in general.
The worst part about diabetes is that it is ALWAYS and FOREVER. It is ALWAYS because there is never a moment when we can forget we have it. There is never a meal where we don’t have to take a shot before we eat. There is never an event where we don’t have to remember to bring our diabetic supplies along or worry if we will have enough of the right things to eat while there. We can never get a break. And diabetes is FOREVER because there is no cure. Yet.
That’s where you come in. The only way to cure diabetes is RESEARCH. Medical research is how insulin was discovered in 1922… before then, diabetics had a lifespan of a year or less after diagnosis. Medical research is how they developed insulin delivery into pen needles and pumps… much easier than the large syringes of the past that had to boiled and sharpened for reuse and insulin that had to be kept cold at all times (so diabetics had to take a cooler with them everywhere). And medical research is how one day, diabetes will go away. The only way medical research can continue is with money.
FUNraising Spotlight: My team for the walk is called “Mason-Dixon Challenge” because I am from the south, and a few of my Southern family members will be joining me and my friends and family for the walk in New York. I would like to see who can donate more money, Rebels or Yankees??? Bragging rights will go to either the South or the North, and every dollar donated will go towards finding a cure for juvenile diabetes and changing the lives of millions of children and adults all over the world.
Join us and WALK TO CURE DIABETES TODAY! Register at www.walk.jdrf.org!
Saturday, September 28, 2013 – Long Dock Park, Beacon, NY
Sunday, September 29, 2013 – Goshen Historic Track, Goshen, NY
Sunday, October 6, 2013 – Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, NY / Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT
Sunday, October 21, 2013 – Ridgefield Recreation Center, Ridgefield, CT
If you have have a great fundraising idea to share please contact Taryn Dwan at firstname.lastname@example.org.