Last fall I received an email from a friend who works for one of the major pump companies. He said, “Barb, we have this great new rep who will be working in your province. I would love for you two to get together. I am sure that you can give her a lot of insight and better still, you will really like her. She’s a great person!”. I am always up to meeting new people, especially when it comes to life with diabetes so after a few emails a lunch date was set and I met a new friend by the name of Karyn O’Rielly.
I immediately knew that she would be a great asset to a company that has always had the best people working for them. Her background solidified her commitment to a disease that we all love to hate–Type 1 diabetes. Karyn told me that she was “from St. Brendan’s Island, Bonavista Bay and I have been living with Type 1 diabetes since January 1995. I was 13 years old when I was diagnosed. Diabetes has always been a big part of my life as I am one of six people in my family diagnosed with the disease including my dad, sister and three first cousins.” Its not surprising then that Karyn went on to graduate from Memorial University with a Bachelors of Nursing Degree where she worked in ICU before joining the Animas team last August.
Since that lunch date, Karyn and I have stayed in touch through emails and such. A little over a month ago we sat down to lunch once again. This time she had news that completely amazed me. She told me that she was going to hike Mount Kilimanjaro! I can’t hike Signal Hill but here she was, a young woman with diabetes and she was going to climb a major mountain!
Karyn said, “I have learned over the years that diabetes is a journey that requires great strength and persistence in order to succeed! My newest adventure and challenge is to hike Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. On June 14th, 2012 I will be heading off with the JDRF’s Team One to complete the nine day trek. Team One consists of people of all ages living with Type 1 Diabetes.”
This group of people will have a support team as they work together to reach new heights in an effort to raise public awareness of diabetes and to change the perceptions of what people with Type 1 diabetes can achieve. Karyn notes that “this is a way of showing other youth that the challenges and stigma associated with diabetes can be overcome. On top of dealing with altitude sickness at heights of over 19,000 ft, we are faced with bigger challenges with our diabetes by testing our blood glucose more than 20 times per day and closely monitoring the amounts of insulin injected.”
Karyn and her group making up Team One completely amaze me. The cost of her strip to Mount Kilimanjaro will be covered completely out of her own pocket! Karyn is looking for donors however–donors to help raise funds for the JDRF and organization dedicated to improving lives and curing Type 1 diabetes.
I would encourage you to go to Karyn’s donation page and help her exceed her fundraising goal! I know that everyone wants you to donate something and we only have so money to go around but we have 62 people registered who admit to following my blog. If they each gave the $10 that they would spend on lunch today, well that would be $620 more money than Karyn had yesterday! There are over 700 people who read this blog through my Facebook page. If they donated the $5 that they would have spent on their second cup of coffee this morning, then Karyn would have $3500 more than she had yesterday towards this great cause. Remember, you are not helping to pay for Karyn’s summer vacation. Your money is going directly to the JDRF to help them fill their mandate!
Please consider it. Please go to her sponsor page. Also SHARE this with others. Get them to sponsor her as well….it could earn you a few dollars as well as you will be eligible for that $200 Visa Gift Card that I mentioned yesterday! Let’s show this amazing young woman just how incredible we think she is and help her far surpass her financial goal as she strives to reach another tremendous personal goal!