School is starting, the wind is picking up, and there is a heightened electricity in the air: that's right, it's the season for fundraising. This is the ninth year that my family and I are gearing up to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a nonprofit organization founded by the parents of children with type 1 diabetes in 1970. In the past 40 years, JDRF has raised $1.4 billion, and nearly every penny of that is devoted to research.
Why should people care? Here's why:
-More than 23 million Americans live with diabetes, and of that number, about 5-10% live with type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes. This less common form of diabetes was formerly known as juvenile diabetes, because the majority of people who live with it are diagnosed as young children or adolescents. This means that type 1 kids and teens are badasses because they have to learn how to test their blood sugar and give themselves injections while learning how to tie their shoes, ride bikes, compete at sports, apply for college, etc.
-Diabetes is considered a pre-existing condition, which, as we all know, makes applying for health insurance especially frustrating.
-Because Halle Berry, Nick Jonas, Mary Tyler Moore, and certain twentysomething bloggers take insulin every day, and still make time to make movies, sing songs, write books, and in my case, go to grad school and work two jobs.
This year, while my uber-supportive Team Malibu Pumpers represents at the 5K walk at the State Capitol on Sunday, October 3, I will be running my first-ever half marathon. This is something I've wanted to do for three years, ever since I got my worst blood test results as a diabetic and felt the need to prove I was still healthy. I've been training over the past few months and am excited to finally put myself to the test. And while other people might run this race for time or place, I'll be running it to prove I can do it and not get low.
So, what can you do? You can make a tax-deductible donation for our team here. You can visit JDRF online and sign up for a corresponding walk in another city. Or, if you don't have the money this time but really want to show support, you can learn the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and explain it to the next person who asks. Believe you me, it'll be a relief for the rest of us who grow tired when unsuspecting strangers relate long stories about their grandparents with gangrene feet.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support.