Walking the walk


Hi everyone,

So last Sunday was the day my team and I walked the 5k for the JDRF One Walk. Before that, we managed to collect a bit over $2000 for research, support and prevention for type 1 diabetes. So thank you to all the donors and the supporters! The money you have donated will fund research to cure, prevent and treat T1D to change the lives of 120,000 Australians living with this disease. In total, and still counting, the JDRF One Walk has just hit the massive milestone of $1,000,000 raised! And we can still donate! IT IS NEVER TOO LATE! (donate to our team HERE)

Batman and his Batmobile graced us at the beginning of the walk (I swear, there was actually someone driving around in a customized Batmobile! See the photos. How cool is that?!), but he rapidly drove away, maybe to save a damsel in distress?

 

After a rainy night, we were granted a reprieve and the weather was on our side. The Cathy Freeman park is absolutely gorgeous. It meant a great deal to me to do this walk in a park dedicated to a great athlete and advocate for Aboriginal education (check out her foundation's website here).

Doing the walk allowed me to spent time with my team and we all shared good talks and laughs. I met a few people, exchanged a couple of advice. But this year, I mainly focused on having a good time with my family and friends. That is probably one thing that I regret. Not that spending time with loved ones is wrong, on the contrary! But I wished I used this time to meet more people, work on my networking. I guess I'll just have to come back next year, huh?

I had designed t-shirts for each member captioning "I run with a dia-bad-ass" and had my own t-shirt saying "I am the dia-bad-ass". We were not the only ones wearing team t-shirts. Almost every team had their own designs and it was awesome to see all of us so united, moving towards a same goal. I had a good laugh about a few t-shirts that displayed puns and jokes. Like "Proud owner of a useless pancreas" or my personal favorite: "Diabetes is a pain in the pancre-ASS". Other t-shirts were sporting a more serious message, like "You don't know how strong you are, until being strong is the only option. TYPE ONE." Another message got me quite emotional. It was written "In memory of … 1984 – 2016". This person died from diabetes, only a year ago, at 31 years old. This got to me quite strongly because it reminded me that diabetes can still kill. It can still kill me. That was a sobering realization, but, although it was surely a welcome reminder, I did not let it affect my day more than it needed to. I had a thought for that person, for her family that were with us that day, focused my drive to go on, and went back to my happy self.

I had asked and insisted that we took ours dogs, Baguette and Maya, on the walk with us. They were both exemplary, Maya stopping crowds with her baby cuteness, Baguette, calmer, simply enjoying being with us.

JDRF managed to organize a great day for all of us. Starting at 9am, with tents, marquees and picnic setups on the grass lawn. There, many lucky walkers (not I unfortunately) got the chance to meet cricket legend Sir Ian "Beefy" Botham, who joined us along with his family, including Becky, who lives with type 1 diabetes. The walk itself started at 10:30am and it was really heartwarming to walk alongside fantastic people, all in the same direction. It enforced the feeling that we all want the same thing: A world without T1D. All diabetics were given a JDRF orange cap. I noticed something about halfway through the walk, something that you can probably see in the photos and videos. There are not so many orange caps in the crowd. Of course, some may have preferred not to wear it, lost it or were simply not given one. But there were still very few orange heads in sight. Most of the people walking were here for us. They were families, friends, colleagues. They were here to support us. That is amazing!

After the walk, the kids (and the grown-ups too) enjoyed the bubble soccer, the petting zoo, backyard cricket and some even cooled off from the hot 5k walk in the giant waterfall fountain. Thanks to the very passionate and dedicated volunteers who assisted and helped on all front, whether be it at the front of the herd, opening the road, on the track, offering jelly beans in case of hypos, or water for people who didn't plan ahead (like me), or at the finish line to congratulate us.

As we were pressed for time from prior engagements, we had to leave straightaway to drop one of my brothers to work. But the rest of the team stayed together for a nice lunch in Darling Harbor, enjoying the sun, and going for desserts in a creperie near home.

What a day!

Till next time,

XX

- J