But do you really know? Do we REALLY know?
The ultimate ‘grassroots’ event is the walkathon. Created, according to some accounts, by the March of Dimes Organization a million years ago. Walks do not JUST happen. They are hugely labor intensive. When I landed in South Carolina on Wednesday, the JDRF Nation (which I understand to be, like a third-party event) group of volunteers organized a walk at the Pelican Stadium in Myrtle Beach South Carolina to benefit the JDRF on the following Saturday……why not I thought. I went. Boy was I glad I did.
No major staff time spent on this event—-it was all volunteers. Kaitlyn’s Crusaders; Madi’s Dream….to Live for a Cure; Lynden’s LifeGuards, Sophie’s Squad, Violet’s Petals, Skippy the LadyBug were just some of the team names. People impacted by diabetes. People who wanted to do something, anything, to feel like they are making a difference.
The event was organized by Bonnie Mills. A mom. But not a mom to a child with diabetes. She works for Sanofi. She has seen diabetes for over 20 years. She has seen a lot. She wanted to do more. She does not have to do it and I’m sure, perhaps, her boss might even wonder…..why Bonnie does so much. But to these parents, there is no question that Bonnie is the driving force behind this event……..and to me; that does makes good business sense.
But this is an event way beyond business. This is an event that runs on adrenaline and passion. Parents who told me it would be great if a cure could be found. As Bonnie put it, “100 people or 1000 people, the spirit is awesome.” And she was right, it was. It is.
From the prizes, to the group ‘All That’ who appeared on America’s Got Talent, to Raina who sang the National Anthem, to the American Legion Honor Guard, to Spiderman and Arial….but most of all…..to the kids. The kids who live with diabetes who want a cure. When you become involved for any length of time, you may forget how important these-type walks really are.
Not just for the money raised, but for being together as one unit who want to stand up and say, “…..diabetes will not stop us from anything.” John, Kailyn’s dad tells her everyday that she can do anything, Madi states, “I have diabetes and I can do a lot of things”……..indeed.
One shirt had a bible verse on the back stating, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you”, from the book of Isaiah and as someone from the team shared with me, “We’ve got this.”….yes, I believe you do.
If you need to remember what this ‘finding a cure thing’ is all about; or if you have been at this for a long time and think hoping for a cure is not worth the energy…….stop at a walk on a weekend. In a stadium for a baseball team called the Pelicans, I found a group of people reminding all of us what ALL OF THIS FUND RAISING is all about……………it was, is, and has always been about the kids who need to have hope to hold on to. That, like a walk in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; begins with just one step.
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