I went to my first JDF Walk to Cure Diabetes (there didn’t used to be an “R” in there back in the day) in 1993. I was dx in ’92 but we didn’t hear about the walk until after it had happened for the year.
My mom worked for Coca-Cola at the time and she started pitching JDF at her United Way meetings to get people on board 😉 It worked and that first year we went, Dr Pepper was the big soft drink sponsor and soon after, Coca-Cola was one of the largest national sponsors for the organization. I am very proud to know we had a part in making that happen. 🙂
I always walked on Coca-Cola’s corporate team for years …. and in 2005, I finally started my own family team – “No More Shots for Shannon” 🙂 (Hey, a girl can wish/dream, right?)
I went to this year’s Kickoff dinner earlier this week and I was telling my mom about it (she wasn’t feeling well that night and wasn’t able to make it.) She started strolling down memory lane. We talked about when my grandmother (who passed away in ’97) would go to the walks with us, even though she didn’t/couldn’t have walked the 5k, and she’d stay back at the Coke booth and hand out t-shirts to late arrivers. But in reality, she was bartering the shirts. We’d come back from the walk and she’d have 10 different team shirts – she’d trade them out. 🙂
And my mom used to walk with me every year .. until her MS made it too difficult for her legs to make it the entire 5k. But she was still there AT the walk every year with me. Still goes to this day. She just gets to hang out at the Plaza and people watch 🙂
I remember my very first walk, seeing a woman who was about 9 months pregnant walking. She said that she was hoping this might speed up the process a bit. And it’s crazy to think that now that “baby” would be almost 20 years old!!
I have friends that have supported me every year and either gone with me, or sponsored me. That is very humbling 🙂 My cousins, Mark, Stacy, and Jayden – I don’t get to see them often at all, but they are at the walk almost every single year without fail (love you guys!)
I think that if anyone in my “circle” of friends and family .. hears the word “JDRF” – they would immediately think of me, and my association with the organization. And for that, I am very proud. Here’s a picture of me and my team from last year. Love you guys! (Sorry I can’t get the hyperlink to work right now – http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR/Walk-TX/Chapter-GreaterDallas4632?px=1323327&pg=personal&fr_id=1805)