|Red Striders Walking with HOPE! Cure type 1 diabetes, please:)|
It is the season of walks for our state. With this time of year comes a variety of walks to all help cure type 1 diabetes. JDRF sponsors several walks throughout the region with targeted populations that are around a chapter office. In contrast, the ADA sponsors only one walk with the target being the most centrally populated area of the entire state.
Naturally Sweet Sisters supports them all. If we can't walk, we send messages and if we walk, we raise money.
After all, to get to a cure, it will take a village.
This year however, I noticed something new. Something that I wasn't entirely aware of in prior walks. It wasn't just the need to GIVE support, but for me, it was the need to be SURROUNDED by the feeling of support.
We walk to raise awareness for the need to end type 1 diabetes, but now I realize that we also walk for the need to surround our family with something else; HOPE.
Why I think I recognized that is that for the first time, I was keenly aware that not everyone was walking for the same reasons. Many of those that walked this past weekend were there for something else. I am not even sure what it was.
Like the people who crowded around the booth for free sorbet before the walk started. As a man peddled the product to the crowd, a friend and I could overhear him say, "This is dye-free, preservative free and even good for people who are dealing with sugar issues."
What does that even mean? That life is good enough if we just eat the right things? The reason that we walk is to point out that nothing will be good enough unless we have a cure.
I think that I hoped to hear him say, "This is the best darn product for everyone in the world. And to make it even better, I am giving all of my profits to help ADA eradicate type 1 diabetes FOREVER!"
Or what about the people that showed up for a day at the zoo and were instead bothered by the people who were there for the walk. Part of me felt compassion for them but the other part was slightly miffed because everyone should be welcoming an effort to eradicate a horrible disease from this world.
I really wanted to hear them shout, "Wow! What an opportunity! Let's give them the money that we would have spent on stuffed animals in the gift shop and join in to spread the message: Cure Diabetes!"
I know that I was tired on walk day and a little bit sad that the other half of the Naturally Sweet Sisters weren't there. (Our oldest had another commitment and the Naturally Sweet Dad was helping her.)
And on a brighter note... we were surrounded by other local families that continue to pledge their unwavering support for an end to type 1 diabetes. I just couldn't shake the wish that everyone else knew how hard these families were working and helped to support them all.
Even in a recent email that I received, one young mom pointed out that she was really struggling with getting donations for her walk team. She said people weren't excited about it and only a few were signing up. She felt lost and didn't know what to do, especially with the walk just a few weeks away.
I gave her some ideas and then later, as I thought about it, wished I have said this:
While your voice may seem small, it is still being heard. I am listening and I will share the message through Naturally Sweet Sisters. And from there, maybe someone will share it with a friend of theirs and so on and so on. Eventually, it may even get back to the peddler of ice-cream or the family that had no idea it was walk day at the zoo. Eventually from your mouth to their ear, your small voice will change the world! Just don't give up.
Keep the HOPE!
To donate to the JDRF Naturally Sweet Sister's Walk Team, CLICK HERE or enter the website into your browser http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?pg=team&fr_id=2349&team_id=78717