Let’s take a walk..

Saturday the 12th was my very first Walk for a Cure with JDRF.

I woke up early that morning with such excitement and nervousness.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. We arrived well before anyone else had for registering and they sort of just moved us along anyway, which was nice. I received a walk shirt, lots of smiles, and breakfast. I loved that they already had the carb counts listed for us. How very thoughtful. The tables were still wet from the mornings dew and slowly people started to trickle in. I didn’t necessarily have a walk team but my mother in law joined me as well as my husbands uncle and his wife.

So I wasn’t alone.

Before the walk officially started there were tents set up with vendors and contributors. Walgreen’s handed out goody bags with water bottles and stress balls, little trinkets for the kids. There were pump representatives discussing the latest this and that. My husband and I walked around asking questions and filling out paperwork. Suddenly getting to hold a pump in my hand and see how it worked in person made the both of us very interested.

After that we watched as runners and walkers warmed up to a zumba workout. I opted not to join in, I was feeling a bit out of place. I hadn’t seen anyone checking their blood sugar, or injecting, or even messing with pump tubing. Nothing.  I thought for awhile I was the only one. What made me feel even more out of place was that everyone kept asking if I was walking for my daughter who was hugging on my hip. “Oh, are you walking for that adorable little thing?” “Oh, no. I’m walking for myself. I’m type one.” They’d look at me weirdly, I felt, and then proceed with whatever it was they were doing. I just kept thinking..Type ones DO grow up, ya know!

I didn’t let that bother me though. The omnipod reps made me feel so much better when they announced that they too were diabetic. Showed me their “equipment” and chatted with me about the benefits of being on a pump. One women had been MDI for years before making the switch. I took a deep breathe after that conversation. Whew. I’m not alone.

Once the walk started that’s when every doubt, every nervous feeling, every awkward moment I had probably created in my own head disappeared. Because that’s when I saw hundreds of people line up and prepare themselves for this walk. Some of them diabetic, I’m sure, and some of them walking for a loved one, a friend, even a stranger, with diabetes. Why, they were even walking for me, they just did’t know it. I was overwhelmed by the turn out. What seemed like such a small amount of people quickly grew into a crowd. Cheering, clapping, raising awareness for me, for you, for everyone who lives with type one diabetes.

It was truly a beautiful thing. Something I hope to be a part of again.

The walk didn’t take long and thankfully my blood sugar played nicely. All around it was a wonderful experience. Thank you so much to all the friends/family that supported and encouraged me. It’s always appreciated.

Here’s a picture from the walk. :)

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3 Comments

  1. I think that the sheer number of people who show up for the walk speaks the loudest. But like you, the two venues’ walks I’ve participated in; one in New Jersey and two in NYC, the actual T1Ds are hard to find (I saw one person taking an insulin injection, but anyone else with T1 I knew of beforehand), and the overall feeling is that the walk is to benefit “them” and not “us”.

    I wish that JDRF would take a cue from Friends-for-Life and give some visual identifier to the T1Ds walking: a hat, a headband, even a bracelet (some chapters apparently due this). This would help to demonstrate to the walkers how many “them” are among “us”, and might even kindle some cross-team friendships or relationships.

    • I think that would be a fantastic idea, the hats, or bracelets, something that would help us identify one another. And like you said, so that there is more of an idea of who is actually among the “us”

      Overall the turn out was amazing so I felt sort of silly being “upset” that I wasn’t able to connect with other diabetics. Next time I’ll just wear a huge sign around me that says, “I’m a type one..LETS BE FRIENDS!” :)

  2. Yeah, and the ADA Tour de Cure bike rides have the nice Red Rider jerseys for all of the riders with diabetes. That is awesome. I can’t believe how many people showed up for your walk! Glad it was a good experience.

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