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« Anniversary Week Continues: Books and Video | Main | Arden's Day is Six Years Old »

Tell Me About Your JDRF Walk

I'd like to begin the Arden's Day Anniversary Week celebration on a charitable note. I thought it would be nice if we shared what we love most about our JDRF walk experiences. Everyone who shares their thoughts in the comment section (under this post) will be entered into a drawing. Later, at the end of the week, Arden will pick one winner and my family will make a $50 donation to your walk effort! You can enter up until August 10, 2013 at 11:59PM estDue to a typo in the entry date (Was originally listed as 8/10/13) the giveaway has been extended. Entries now excepted until August 18, 2013 at 11:59PM EST

I'll get us started...

There are a number of great reasons to walk with your local JDRF chapter and while I'm certain that each of you will have a different 'favorite' part to share, mine is without a doubt the sense of community that I instantly felt when I realized that everyone that was walking either had type I diabetes or loved someone who did.

That feeling helped to buoy me for a number of years after Arden's diagnosis and while I still enjoy that feeling, my reason for returning each year is no longer the same. Today, I walk so that there will be a community for others to draw support from because I know how much seeing that crowd of people meant to me. It's was the first time after Arden was diagnosed that I felt less alone. That's why I walk!

What's you favorite part of walking for the JDRF?

Arden (age 2) and Kelly at our first walk - 2006


other anniversary posts and giveaways

  'Anniversary Week Continues: Books and Video' - A video we made in 2008 to support type I advocacy and a book giveaway.

'Who wants a copy of Coco's First Sleepover?' - I have ten copies of the new Coco book to giveaway



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Reader Comments (11)

Walk Day is like Christmas and my birthday rolled into one - the excitement of being around other PWDs and T3s, other people who know more about what my life is like on a daily basis, is just overwhelming. I love to be a part of it and to feel a little less alone. It's like a DOC tweetchat in the flesh!

As I get older, it's also become increasingly rewarding to raise funds an organization that has come to see it should play a role in our lives beyond just funding research for a cure - that living WITH diabetes until there's a cure is pretty important, too.

August 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Hoffman

I have only been part of the walk to the cure for the last 2 years, because I just found out that long ago...
The first time I made a team and raised funds it was more about the actual raising of the funds; I had never attended any walks and had just been to TEDxDelMar which was all about research for a cure and felt that I wasn't doing anything to help the researchers.
There was a brochure there for the walk and the date was set like 2 months from then...I just felt really strongly that I HAD to do it! Absolutely nothing prepared me for the overwhelming feelings I got thanks to the whole thing; the support of my family as they bought the t-shirts I designed and everyone hopping on to help me spread the word....I was absolutely surprised.
In Mexico the only walks that take place related to diabetes are very dull, small and focused primarily on type 2 diabetes so when I attended one I just felt out of place.

When I went for the first time the one in San Diego, with my family, who mind you, had to wake up super early to cross the border and make it on time, it was raining big time and I had no idea what to expect. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by people who not only have diabetes and big hopes and dreams, but who cheer you on; a support group I had no idea I needed so much.
I forgot about the fact that I was drenched and I had to walk in wet socks the rest of the day because everyone was so cheerful, everyone was having fun and everyone was doing it not only in spite of diabetes but because of it! It just blew my mind and at some point I wanted to drop on the floor and cry my heart out.
Up until that moment I had never realized how much I needed to see other people with diabetes, how much I needed support itself! The walk provided a way for me to open up for dialog with my loved ones, an opportunity to raise awareness and educate others but most importantly, to connect with others for the dark days diabetes can give you.

After that I started getting involved in the DOC and well, here I am..trying to keep my poker face at work while I remember and feel an urge to cry all over again.

It helped me heal in so many ways and the best is I'm helping an organization that can do so much for people with diabetes so its an ubber win win, don't you agree?


August 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicte Trujillo

JDRF Walk Day is truly an amazing experience and something I learned about through the example set by my parents. My parents found JDRF when I was diagnosed in 1979 in Philadelphia. I often say, it was their calm in a storm and JDRF gave them what they needed most, HOPE. I have wonderful memories of JDRF Walks with my family and cheering (not sure why though) on Kelly Drive and later at the Philadelphia Zoo.

In the late 90s, I moved to NYC and reconnected with JDRF through their NYC chapter. I participated in the JDRF Walk through my endocrinologist's office team. I would always come home afterwards and cry. Cry because Walk day ALWAYS renews my sense of HOPE. Participating, raising funds, walking, all for the betterment of T1Ds. Incredibly beautiful.

In 2001 I founded my own team with the idea that I could get more people involved if I used my own name instead of walking with a doctor's office. It worked. Our team, Alecia's Stem Cells has walked for 12 years in NYC while simultaneously having a team 1 year in Boston and last year in Los Angeles. Yes, I walk a lot. The Walk represents much more to me that HOPE now though. It represents LOVE. I am surrounded by fellow T1Ds, T3s, my family spends the weekend in NYC with me, friends I rarely get to see walk with me, new friends and friends of friends walk with us. I am surrounded by people I LOVE.

As of this morning, Alecia's Stem Cells has 22 registered walkers. I cried when I saw this number. I received an email from my childhood neighbor. She wanted to let me know that I have her family's support and that she will be traveling to NYC this year to walk with me. I was shocked. And THAT is what the Walk means to me. HOPE and LOVE.

August 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlecia

I LOVE these... Keep them coming so others can find out how fantastic being part of a walk team can be!

August 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

Why do I walk? I've been T1D since I was a little kid and for the last 39 years, 3 months, 19 days and....3 hours, I have been waiting.......eagerly, sometimes not so patiently, but always hopefully, for my cure. Luckily for me, when I was diagnosed, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation was there with support and education, and even more lucky for ALL of us, they decided to add that R to their Name. J D R F. Because it is RESEARCH that has improved our lives SO much.

I did my first bikeathon in the 70s, and I raised 38 dollars. I was so proud to turn in my packet of crumpled dollar bills and dimes and quarters, hoping earnestly that just maybe it would be MY $38 that did the trick. And I still feel that way even though I have walked or biked almost every single year since. Thanks to the "earnest hopefulness" of millions of people just like us, more than a billion dollars has been raised by these JDRF walks. One billion dollars....$38 at a time.

And honestly, my hope was raised to the highest point EVER 2 weeks ago when I saw JDRF's new marketing campaign, and when I saw, in CEO Jeffrey Brewer's hand, a prototype of the Encapsulated Beta Cells. This amazing device is implanted, and will allow us to live completely normal, dare I say, boring, lives, for up to 24 months...which, as Jeff said, isn't exactly a CURE, but it IS a darn good thing. And it will be in clinical trials next year!

So I walk because I believe in the promise of research, and I know JDRF has not forgotten about a CURE...the potential for a vaccine, and regenerating damaged beta cells, and gene therapy. It is all THERE....and we just can't lose hope! And basically, that's why we all walk, isn't it? We all still hope and we need JDRF to continue this research until we have a world without Type One Diabetes. JDRF's mission is to lessen our burden, lessen our struggle, lessen our pain and fear, and lessen that of our loved ones, and they won't stop, until they turn Type One into Type None. (to steal their new, and effective, marketing tagline!)

And even if I am not selected as the winner, I hope everyone will check out all the new videos that JDRF has produced for us. Here is a link: Or visit my blog for more links! Thanks for the opportunity to enter...I love your blog!

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSara

We participated in our first walk this summer. Maeg was dx last year and honestly we were too overwhelmed to think about doing a walk. Our town does not host a walk so for us to participate we must travel 3 hours to the nearest location. This generally means an overnight trip for us as well. When we walked into the staging centre for the wall we were astounded to see so many PWD! Maeg was excited about all the kids her age because up until a few months go she didn't know anyone with Type 1. Even though it was pouring rain for most of our walk and then smoking hot for the last bit we had fun. We enjoyed ourselves so much and were so incredibly touched by all of it that we are trying to get a walk started in our community for next year!!!

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy

We LOVE JDRF walk day! This September will be our 5th walk to participate in since Noelle was diagnosed almost 5 years ago. Noelle thinks it's a huge party just for her! It's sobering for us to see the sea of walkers and know that they are all there to support children and adults that struggle daily with the same things we do. It is definitely one of our most favorite days of the year. We love what JDRF is doing to find better treatments and a CURE for type 1 diabetes. Thank you for offering this giveaway! Here is a look at our walk tshirts for this September. We are super excited! Peace. Love. Cure T1D!!

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKrista

I started out responding here, but it got to be so cumbersome that I decided to post it on my own blog (it'll go up Monday).

But the short story is this: what inspires me the most is not the amount of money collected, or the research and possible treatments that this could fund. What I find most fulfilling is the sheer NUMBER of people that come out for the walks. People who aren't necessarily walking for themselves, but for their families and friends, or for people they don't even know.

Diabetes often seems to me like the "forgotten" cause, because the struggles we go through aren't always visible (as opposed to other medical conditions which are much more apparent). Seeing the crowds helps me to believe that, yes, people get it -- and yes, people care.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScott E

My daughter was just diagnosed with T1D in Feb of this year. This will be our first walk, so I can't really say what I like most about participating in the walk. We are looking forward to the JDRF walk the end of September. We are told there will be thousands of people there. It will be great seeing so many people support JDRF and T1D. It will be even better if my daughter could meet a few kids with T1D as she is the only child in her school with diabetes. Can't wait for Sept 29th.

August 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarla

I am very much looking forward to my first JDRF walk in May 2014. My 4 year old son, Isaac, was diagnosed with type 1, two months ago in June 2013. I long for understanding, caring, connection and compassion from those around us. Most of the time I feel pretty alone with managing this disease. I feel most people not living with or around type 1 don't have any idea what is involved in the around the clock care. I look forward to the walk, knowing that I will be surrounded by many families who not only understand Type 1, but also care and support JDRF and each other. It also warms my heart to be making a charitable contribution that someday will not only positively change the life of my son but thousands of others just like him.

August 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRana

Congratulations Sara, Arden picked your name from her hat!

Thank you all for entering, this thread went exactly as I hoped that it would. Your thoughts, feelings and emotion moved me immeasurably and I'm betting that they will touch countless people as they visit this page. I'm so proud that you guys read Arden's Day! Wishing all a great ride/walk!

My best,

August 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

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