Over a thousand supporters, family and friends met for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk to Cure Diabetes this morning at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore.
“We are here to raise awareness, and raise funds to find a cure,” said event organizer, and San Diego Chapter Executive Director, Sean McParland. “It is important to get the word out, as over 40 kids, and 38 adults, are diagnosed with T1D every day.”
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McParland is also a family supporter, as his sister-in-law has Type-1 Diabetes (T1D).
“Our goal is to raise $96,000 and we are on our way to meeting that goal,” he said.
A foggy morning greeted walkers, as music played upon entry to the free event. All walkers were welcome, and donations greatly appreciated.
The three-mile stretch, from Storm Stadium, out to the Lake Elsinore jetty and back, was populated with volunteers and supplies, such as bottled water and glucose tablets at the midway point, offered from Walmart.
Back at the main event, water, fruit, Hansens, and bagels were supplied by Fresh & Easy, as were sandwiches by Chik fil A.
“Where there’s diabetes, you’ll always find food,” said Denise Alford, mother of Jillian, one of the T1D Heroes walking today.
Jillian’s team name was the ‘Sugar Free Jilliebeans.’
When asked about the event and camaraderie offered by JDFR, Alford said: “The amazing support that is offered by organizations like JDRF brings hope to families like ours, that there is a cure on the horizon.”
Parents Ric and Wendie Chadd were equally enthusiastic about their T1D Hero, daughter, Brittany.
“Brittany has danced for 11 years, and her studio has really stepped forward to support her,” Wendie said.
Team B.R.I.T.T. boasted over 100 supporters, most from the Murrieta Dance Project and Santa Rosa Academy in Menifee that raised an amazing $7,000 according to the team web site.
Murrieta Dance Project owner, Erin Babbs said: “We love Brittany. She has never used her diabetes as a crutch, and she supports us, as much as we support her.”
Singers and dancers of all ages, including Brittany Chadd’s performing troupe who danced in full costume to ‘Shake it Up,’ offered entertainment after the walk, and a kid zone boasted the Storm Jump House, a hula-hoop contest, painting by Lakeshore Learning, and Fairytale Princess Parties face painting, and pictures with Spiderman and Ariel.
“The walk is a big part of what we do, but it is important to get the word out. The JDRF group offers a support network for parents of kids with T1D. They meet monthly in Murrieta to have coffee and offer each other advice and suggestions on raising kids with T1D, in a casual atmosphere,” McParland said.
To learn more, visit http://jdrfsd.org/.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.