Below is the email I finally finished (I usually have this letter ready to go in June so I am terribly behind this year) to get my friends and family to sign-up for the 2 walks I will be participating in on behalf of JDRF. I’ve organized/led Alecia’s Stem Cells since 2001. We have walked every year, rain or shine, since then in NYC, across the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge. In order to keep people involved and interested, I have made it my mission to constantly change things up.
I did 2 walks in two cities in 24 hours 2 years ago (Boston & NYC). I’ve hosted give-aways, walk kick-off parties and post walk parties. I’ve worn pirate props along with 30 of my friends while walking 3 miles. I’ve made videos. I’ve sat in the dark at Battery Park waiting to do TV interviews at 5:30am about why I walk. If you haven’t guessed it, this is an event near and dear to my heart and this year I will have the largest turn-out of my immediate family we have ever had. My parents, both brothers and their wives, my sister and hopefully my new niece or nephew are all registered to walk with me.
I’m posting this note to invite you, the DOC, to come join me. Its a great day for a great cause and I would be thrilled to have us walk together!
As you may know (OK seriously, who doesn’t know?), I have lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) since I was 6 years old. I have managed to stay alive thanks to insulin but insulin is far from a cure. I am committed to JDRF, the leading global organization focused on T1D research. JDRF raises funds that power the global movement to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes (T1D). The goal of JDRF is to improve the lives of every person affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating and preventing T1D.
In the past year, I’ve embraced some new technologies and have become further involved in diabetes advocacy. I suspected I was having inconsistent low blood sugars in my sleep. I was not experiencing the symptoms of low blood sugar until I was already in the “danger zone” (hypoglycemic unawareness) which terrified me since there are too many of stories of people who hit that “danger level” and simply never wake up. I now wear another device along with my insulin pump. It’s called a Dexcom sensor and is inserted into my tummy or my arm (I prefer the arm since my insulin pump is on my stomach). The Dexcom sensor gives continuous blood glucose readings to a receiver which is always with me and helps me make smaller and faster changes on my insulin pump. The cool part about the Dexcom is that it gives me trends with my glucose levels although I still have to check my blood with fingersticks throughout the day. Most importantly though, an alarm sounds if my blood gets too low (and I feel so MUCH safer at night).
I also completed training to become a JDRF mentor. The experience was eye-opening especially about issues currently facing many diabetics and their families. Listening to stories of bullying and depression that often walk hand-in-hand with any chronic and degenerative disease was heartbreaking. After a truly horrific experience involving an insulin pump emergency on an airplane, I realized that MY story and experiences with managing this disease could help other people, especially parents of diabetic children. Through a series of coincidences or simply fate, I started writing and advocating in the process of trying to give back. I realized I was getting something out of this too… encouragement not only from my fellow diabetics but from other people who heard and read my story. I had no idea how much that encouragement would relieve my own sense of stress (and that I’d learn some new diabetes tips in the process).
Amazing advancements are happening all around us and to keep this momentum alive, I am asking you to walk with me!
This year’s Walk takes place in New York City on September 30, 2012, AND we will also be walking in Los Angeles on November 11, 2012. I’m writing to ask for your support. Now more than ever, you can make a real difference in my life and the lives of all people with type 1 diabetes. Please either join my team, Alecia’s Stem Cells, as a walker, fundraiser or support me with a donation. It’s simple, fast and fun AND we will of course go out and watch football afterward! Please visit my personal page to get started.
Thank you for your support!