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Help diabetes fight

Guest Column, by Christy Whiteberg

The death of a child is something that is unimaginable to most parents. It is a thought I try to block out whenever it sneaks up on me. However, it does periodically because I’m the parent of a child with a chronic disease. Raising awareness and raising money for research is just something I’m compelled to do.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with juvenile diabetes – a disease that strikes children suddenly, makes them insulin-dependent for life and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. The group of parents decided they no longer wanted their children to live with diabetes.

Volunteers have been the backbone of the foundation since its inception and it is the volunteers who help define research priorities, deciding which recipients will receive research grants. The foundation has 116 chapters worldwide whose volunteers have helped raise over $410 million for diabetes research.

They allocate 85 cents of every dollar raised directly to research and education. They are the world’s leading non-profit, non-governmental funder of diabetes research. Most importantly, JDRF is the only major diabetes organization focused exclusively on research. And it is only through constant and vigilant research that a cure will be found.

The Walk To Cure Diabetes is the fastest growing fundraising event in the history of the foundation. Last year alone, the walk program raised $78 million and is expected to raise more this year.

More than 350,000 men, women and children will walk this year. Funds are raised as walkers from family and corporate teams ask friends, relatives and co-workers to sponsor them for participating in the walk.

The event will begin on the steps of the Capitol, in downtown Sacramento, on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. Our family team, Ryann’s Remedy, so named for my daughter, has grown from last year’s team of four adults, one child and one dog, into this year’s team of 15 adults, five kids and two dogs. It’s a fun way to do something about this horrible disease. We’re not doctors but we can raise money. After the walk, which takes about an hour and meanders through the capitol mall and old Sacramento, there will be a picnic and entertainment on the lawn. So, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, come down to Sacramento. The cure for diabetes is within walking distance.

– For more information log onto jdrf.org or contact Christy Whiteberg at christy@d-web.com. Donations to JDRF can also be made by purchasing tennis shoes at your local Albertson’s Stores in Truckee and Tahoe City.


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