Friday, October 4, 2013

Walking and Talking for A Cure - JDRF

Photo: The irony is that just by doing a walk, we need a cure even more.   From a 44 mg/dl  to a 300 mg/dl.  Yuck.
Why we walk?  Because after the walk was over, one little girl completely bottomed out for two hours.  Grrr.
October weather here in Michigan has been unseasonably warm.  Which was nice because for the first time in a few years, it was warm enough to do our Walk to Cure Diabetes for JDRF without wearing a coat.

Then, it rained.

The nutty part was that our team actually loved it.  Somehow, the gentle rain made the walk a little bit more exciting and fun.  Maybe it was the calmness that the sound of rain brings on an ordinarily crazy day.  Or maybe it was the water play silliness during an event that can often bring about a range of emotions, especially tears.   In any case, the rain mostly added giggles and lots of camaraderie - you know like when you say, "Well at least its not raining?" except in this case, we could say, "Well at least it is warm and people still are walking!".  We were literally 'in this together' and it showed through our soaked clothes and huge grins.

And, we were definitely 'in this together' in the completely unflattering pictures that our team captured.  Such a stellar hair picture!  I picked this one as I am about as far away from the camera as can be.  Ha!

On the stage, getting ready to deliver a speech - which for walk day - had zero nerves!  We are here to FIGHT diabetes!

Our Naturally Sweet Sisters rallied and produced a total donation of over $4,500!  My prediction is that by the end of the walk season - one month left!-, we will be at $5,000.  It is so remarkable when I think about it.  When we started with our first walk, it was just our little family of four.  Today, we have a team of about 40 people and each one is dedicated to helping us.  Thank you to the entire Naturally Sweet Sister's team - and a special shout out to each of you that bought t-shirts through our fundraiser or donated directly online through the JDRF website.  You are what makes this walk so wonderful and I know that are making a difference.

Aw, so cute!

Both of these pictures are from one of our early walks when our team name was 'Livy's Loved Ones'.  Another diagnosis later and here we are with Naturally Sweet Sisters.

I know the fundraising efforts will pay off through research (Look at the recent Medtronic release of a new auto-shut off insulin pump in the USA!) and ultimately, a cure.  I have hope.  We all should have hope.  Lots of it!

Making her lanyard to display that she is walking with type 1 diabetes. 

My daughters had a special role this year.  Both were selected as Walk Ambassadors for the second time.  Each filled out a questionnaire early in 2013 and submitted school pictures.  In June, it was announced that they were chosen and on walk day, all of the Walk Ambassadors were invited to cut the opening ceremony walk ribbon.  It was a thrilling honor for the girls and they were giddy with being a part of such a neat, once-in-a-lifetime event.  I thought it was pretty cool too!  I don't think I have ever cut a ribbon to kick-off a ceremony in my life.  It made me feel so proud of their accomplishments while living with type 1 diabetes.  Pretty amazing stuff when I look back through the years at the journey to get here.

Walk Ambassadors cutting the starting line ribbon to kick off the walk.

This walk season brought on a new opportunity for me too.  At the same time the girls were submitting their application for Walk Ambassador, I was asked if I would be willing to serve as a Co-Chair for the 2013 Walk.  After lengthy discussion with our family, I decided that I was up for the challenge and headed into the season with lots of hope for a wonderful year.  It was fun too.  I had to conquer some stage fear and give a few speeches.  I was also able to meet many more wonderful, dedicated to getting a cure, families.  Nothing is better than having the chance to meet people who are dealing with the same things that you are and are determined to bring about change.  It is inspiring!

If you haven't had a chance to reach out to your local JDRF branch, I highly encourage you to do so.  Get the date and time for your next walk and try it out.  See if you like it.  It is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the world of positivity of type 1 diabetes. 

And that is a wonderful thing.. to be surrounded by 'positive' people that aren't giving up hope.  I guarantee that will recharge your perspective!  Plus, if you hang around long enough at the walk site, you might even get to take home one of the big balloons.

Youngest Daughter is the proud owner of the world's largest helium balloon. 

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