“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Meade
Margaret Meade’s opening quote is used as an inspirational point by one of JDRF’s Development Coordinators, Ms.Taryn Dwan, when she sends out e-mails spreading the word that together, we can make a difference in the fight against juvenile diabetes — otherwise known as Type 1. Together, we can find solutions. Together, we can find the cure for juvenile diabetes, an up-and-down, roller-coaster illness based on the mathematics of the amounts of insulin needed to survive with and without food. It is a non-stop ride I want to get two of my own children off of.
I sat down with Taryn from our local chapter branch in Goshen, New York, a branch she is heading up for further expansion of The JDRF Reach and Family. JDRF stands for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and has been an active support in the battle to find a cure and raise awareness for this childhood illness that even adults can get. There’s even a Type 1 1/2. Diabetes is a real threat and is on the rise in children and adults. We’re going in the wrong direction, and it is people like Taryn and this organization that can help reverse the process.
Alexandra Holzer: The JDRF is near and dear to my heart, as I have two children with Type 1 Diabetes. Your newest addition to the JDRF Family of Walks is in my backyard in Goshen, New York. Tell me about this and what you hope to accomplish by creating another hub for this cause in Hudson Valley, New York, in Orange County.
Taryn Dwan: We are very excited to bring our JDRF Walk program back to Goshen. Last year was our first year back and we are on pace to hit an estimated $80,000 for diabetes research. The walk program is JDRF’s premiere fundraising event and attracts thousands of people from Westchester County and Hudson Valley each year. It’s fun for families and builds camaraderie among company employees. Above all, it’s an event that you can feel proud about being involved with. Until a cure is found, JDRF is committed to working tirelessly to develop new and better treatments to improve the lives of people who have T1D and keep them as healthy as possible. Growing our walk program and providing a great site in Orange County for families to participate is helping us get one step closer to achieving our ultimate goal… finding a cure for diabetes.
The Goshen Walk will take place on October 21st, 2012 at the Goshen Historic Track. Check in begins at 12 p.m. with a 1 p.m. walk start. You can find out more and register at www.jdrf.org/walk.
AH: What are your biggest mountains to climb in getting the word out trying to reach as many as possible in the hopes to find a cure and better understanding of this disease?
TD: JDRF-funded research encompasses Type 1 diabetes at every life-stage: stopping or slowing its progression in people who are newly diagnosed; reversing it in those who have lived with the disease for years; avoiding or reversing complications and preventing the disease in people at risk and in future generations. With more than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly supporting this research and research-related education, we have very little remaining to help market our events. We rely on grassroots marketing and our amazing volunteers to help spread the word.
AH: How did you get involved with The JDRF and what can people do to help advocate, teach, fund or raise awareness for this cause? What are your suggestions and advice?
TD: There are many ways that people can join JDRF and the fight against diabetes. We have amazing volunteers on every level of the organization that continue to help us raise money and awareness through our Walk to Cure Diabetes, T-Up Golf, Tennis and Mah Jongg Tournament, Gala Programs, Ride to Cure Diabetes and Third Party Events. We have many opportunities throughout the year to volunteer at our various event programs, as well as on committees.
This year help us make the Goshen Walk to Cure Diabetes one of the premier events in the Hudson Valley. Visit http://www.jdrf.org/walk and register yourself or a team today. You can begin with a letter writing campaign or simply connect your personal fundraising page to your Facebook account and let everyone know you have joined the fight. For more information on any of our activities you can contact the local office at 845-297-8600.
AH: What do you think are the most common mistakes people make when it comes to Type 1 versus Type 2 diabetes? Do you think there is discrimination due to a lack of being properly educated?
TD: Nearly 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes (this figure includes Type 1 and Type 2). Both types carry with them the risk of developing serious health complications. A common mistake people make when it comes to understanding Type 1 diabetes is associating the disease with an individual’s lifestyle decisions.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when an individual’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. The onset of type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with lifestyle or diet. There is nothing you can do to prevent it and currently no cure.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way that the body metabolizes sugar. The body either resists the effects of insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. There’s no cure for Type 2 diabetes, but it can be managed or even prevented with diet, exercise and medications.
AH: In closing, you have a ‘Call to Action’ out right now for Goshen, New York and it’s surrounding areas. What can we do and what do you need from people to grow this branch of The JDRF.
TD: Unfortunately our JDRF family will continue to grow until we are able to put an end to Type 1 diabetes. We need support in the way of financial and in-kind donations, volunteers, walk teams and raising awareness.
Register for one of our regional Walks to Cure Diabetes: Wappinger Falls, October 13th; Yonkers Raceway, October 14th; Goshen, October 21st. Find a walk near you at www.jdrf.org/walk. If you are in need of support, JDRF has many programs that may help; including our Online Diabetes Support Team (www.jdrf.org/diabetessupport) and Juvenation, our online community for people touched by Type 1 diabetes can be found at http://www.juvenation.org.
For more information on upcoming events and/or find out how you can help please contact Ms. Taryn Dwan via e:mail at email@example.com and visit the main site at www.jdrf.org.
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