Each year, thousands of people participate in several dozen walks around the country in an effort to raise money to cure type 1 diabetes. The annual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes has been part of my life for the last few years. Last year I was seven months pregnant and walked with my husband and mom. We called our family team, "Baby Bonilla" in honor of the little one we were eagerly anticipating.
This year I'm getting my company involved and walking as part of a corporate team. I decided to increase my donation goal and wrote a fundraising letter. I wanted to share the content of the letter with my blog readers because finding a cure for this disease is so important.
Here's my letter:
Dear Family, Friends, and Colleagues:
Today I'm writing to share two of my passions with you: children and finding a cure for juvenile diabetes. As you may know, I was diagnosed with type 1 or juvenile diabetes when I was 13 years old. While diabetes is a struggle I know personally, my desire to find a cure is motivated by the young children who are diagnosed each day.
Children who are too young to even say the word "diabetes" get diagnosed with this serious autoimmune disease. Families are suddenly bombarded with multiple insulin injections, constant carbohydrate counting, and six or more daily finger sticks to test their children's blood glucose. Moms and dads must explain to their young children why they can't eat cookies with their friends and why they have to be poked with yet another needle. As a new parent, I can't imagine the pain of giving injections to a crying child day after day, not to mention the constant fear of dangerously high or low blood sugars. Type 1 diabetes is a unique condition in that it demands intense daily management. For those who are too young to manage it themselves, the parents take on the burden. While insulin is life sustaining, it is not a cure. People with diabetes eventually develop complications from years of less than optimal blood glucose levels.
Parents of the newly diagnosed are very optimistic about finding a cure for their child.
While I have reconciled myself to living with diabetes for my lifetime, I find tremendous encouragement in the hope of parents who want desperately to rid their children of this disease. The realization of a cure has never been more promising than it is today. With new research methodologies and technological discoveries occurring regularly, people with diabetes and their loved ones have good reason to be hopeful.
Research requires funding and that's precisely what the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is dedicated to providing. The JDRF is the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research worldwide. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. More than 85 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education.
The letter ends with information on how people can donate or participate in the walk. If you're interested in getting involved, email me or visit: http://www.walk.jdrf.org/