The 109 helps fight for a worthy cause By: Megan Smock
More than 5,000 walkers representing local corporations, families, schools, and other organizations are expected to participate in the Greater Fort Worth – Arlington Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 9th annual Walk to Cure Diabetes, on Saturday, October 23rd at Trinity Park. The chapter is on its way to raising more than $700,000 for research to find a cure for diabetes and its complications. “We always look forward to the event and the support we get from the community,” says Rachel Donahue, executive director for the chapter. “It’s so wonderful to see the amount of support we receive.” The foundation is a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research. “JDRF could not be what it is today without the families, the friends, the support system behind the kids that are diagnosed,” Donahue says. “They show us a strength that inspires us to work harder to fund research for a cure.” Type 1 diabetes is a disease which strikes children and adults suddenly and requires multiple injections of insulin daily or a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump. Insulin, however, is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke and amputation.
“I don’t think people understand what people with type 1 diabetes have to deal with on a regular basis,” Donahue says. “These kids have to handle daily injections that don’t even guarantee to make things better. Meeting the families as well as the kids who are diagnosed has made all the work worth it. We can make a difference.” The foundation walks are held in more than 200 cities worldwide. Nearly 500,000 people nationally walked in 2009 and raised $90 million to cure diabetes. Local foundation Walk Sponsors include: Morrison Supply Company, Cook Children’s Hospital, HealthPoint, Quicksilver Resources, Cash America, Eventide, The Gus Bates Company, Ben E. Keith Co., Denitech, Lion’s Club, Metroplex Refrigeration Equipment, Family Powersports, BMC Software, Cousin’s BBQ and Starbucks. Cook Children’s Hospital is this year’s partner for the walk. “It’s great to be partnering with Cook Children’s and working together on such an important goal,” Donahue says. “They understand what the families and kids go through with this disease. They truly embody corporate citizenship.” The juvenile diabetes chapter hosted the 2nd annual Walk to Cure Diabetes in October in Weatherford. Just like the Fort Worth walk, the chapter does not ask for a registration fee, but raises money purely off of donations. “Even though we depend on people volunteering to donate, the Weatherford walk still raised almost $10,000,” Donahue says. “This shows me how caring and giving people really can be.”
The chapter plans the walk on the third weekend of October every year, so mark your calendars for next year! â€œWe depend on the support of the community. Only together can we fight for a cure.â€?