Inspiration and Support Through Walking to Cure Diabetes
This past Sunday was the San Diego Walk to Cure Diabetes!
My family/business team raised over $1,500 to support research for a cure for type 1 diabetes. While I personally wasn't able to walk with my team due to an ankle injury sustained the day before, it was great to join the festivities and see all of the people dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes.
As Dennis and I drank coffee and tasted a variety of granola bars and other goodies provided by vendors at the walk, I really observed the people around me. Several walkers were wearing sticky badges that said, "I'm Walking For..." with a blank for them to write-in the name of a type 1 diabetic loved one. A large group passed us as they began the walk and each person wore a badge that said, "I'm Walking For Evan." I'm assuming Evan was a child and he must have felt like such a celebrity that day! How amazing for that kid to know that many people cared about him and honored his fight against diabetes in such a tangible way.
My office also had a team participate in the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk the day before the JDRF Walk. Since this walk was so close to our home, we figured we'd make it a walk weekend and do both. Dennis kept wondering which walk had more people (it was tough to tell, there were so many at both!) But, my attention was drawn to the qualitative difference between JDRF events and other illness prevention/cure activities. Juvenile diabetes affects kids! There's such a youthful enthusiasm surrounding the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Parents and loved ones are so motivated by their love for their children suffering from diabetes. The determination of both the young patients with diabetes and their families is so inspiring.
Although children are most often diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, those patients eventually grow up and become adults with type 1. I found myself looking around at the other adults and wondering which ones also had diabetes. Being the invisible disease that it is, I sometimes looked for distinguishing paraphernalia like blood glucose meters or insulin pumps!
The other feeling that dominated my reflections this weekend was my joy of having Sienna at the walk with us. A year ago, my mom, Dennis, and I participated in the walk when I was nearly 8 months pregnant! Our team name was "Baby Bonilla" in honor of the little one we were anxiously expecting. A year later, it's so amazing to have her here with us, experiencing all of these annual activities for the first time.
I felt moved by the atmosphere of hope all around me. I wanted to tell the parents of young diabetics that, even if a cure is several years away still, their children can grow up healthy, strong, and determine to achieve their dreams. Diabetes doesn't have to hold us back from anything.