This year I was asked if I would take some time to learn and write about the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk to Cure Diabetes. I am always willing to promote diabetes related events so I gladly said yes.
My son has never been involved in a JDRF walk. When he was younger, outreach had not yet made it to our small community but we did experience the value of getting together with families living with diabetes. Being able to see other people testing their blood, counting their carbs, injecting or pulling out a pump was a great way for us to feel less alone. I therefore knew that an event such as the JDRF Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes would mean a lot to a lot of people.
In order to fully understand what is involved in a walk, I was invited to attend the Community Engagement luncheon in our city back in March. Despite an impending spring snow storm, the room was full of amazing people and incredible energy. It was a wonderful experience to sit and listen to people who lived with diabetes and those who didn’t explain why they were involved in the walk.
I sat at a table with one of the walk’s Youth Ambassadors. She was a lovely young girl who felt that her diagnosis had opened many doors for her. A new volunteer also sat with us. She did not have diabetes herself and was thankful that her child did not have the disease either. She was there because of a friend. Her friend’s child was living with Type 1 diabetes. After seeing up close what it was like to live with diabetes, she wanted to do her part to help fund raise for a cure.
It has been over two months since I went to the engagement luncheon. I have begun to see walk teams’ shirts and donation pages appear on my Facebook feed. I see people searching for new ways to raise money and I notice the excitement building as they look forward to getting together with friends at the event in June.
The JDRF’s theme for this year’s walk is in keeping with their new motto of turning type one into type none. They are asking participants “What Type are You?” They want those involved to share what type they are using the saying “I am the ___ type.” on their fundraising page. JDRF employee and awesome person living with Type 1 diabetes, Alanna has stated that she is the “I don’t want my job any more type“. A friend and fellow advocate has indicated that her team is the “we can achieve anything type“.
According to the JDRF website, there are over 70 walk sites this year with over 45,000 participants. If you are interested in finding out more about a walk in your area, click here and then select your region. Walks are scheduled for June 14th but check with your walk location for the exact time and place.
If you are not interested in walking this year but would still like to get involved, contact your local JDRF chapter. Volunteers are always required to make events like this special for everyone involved! If you can’t make the dates, don’t forget that you can still donate to many of the great teams online through various safe pay options..I did!