Look at all those people. Is there some sort of concert about to go on at Mall of America? Some sort of movie star or book signing? Nope! This photo was taken yesterday Feb 22, 2014 at Mall of America during the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Friday night Jen mentioned she was heading to MOA for the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday my heart was elated to know someone walking. Many years ago my brother Rich was diagnosed as Type1 diabetic. This is the kind that you can’t fix with eating right and exercise. This is the “childhood” type, the kind where your body breaks down. (Notice a trend here with my family… our bodies fail) His pancreas crapped out and he has been on insulin since I was in middle school.
When he was diagnosed, I became a fundraising machine, I dont remeber if my first year was the inagural year for the walk, when it was actually called “the walk for the cure” or if it was the following year, but I was involved for several years. Since the JDRF is based out of the Philadelphia area it was only logical that I go to the luncheons, find out the tips and tricks for asking how to raise money and be involved with a charity that hit so close to home. I was a kid, truly I was about 12 years old and I rallied a team, wrote letters, even did the walk… which was LONG!!! Several miles if I remember, which means the “first 5k I did” with Charities Challenge and the #f2fpack was not my first, it was just another supressed memory. However I don’t think doing stuff as a kid really counts anyway. 🙂 As I got older, it because easier to write a check, or drop my spare change in a bin than do the work to walk or raise funds for something.
So all that being said, yesterday I joined Jen and her coworkers at MoA and did the Walk to Cure diabetes. It was SO heartwarming and SO energizing to see 20,000 people there raising awareness hopeful to find a cure for diabetes. Young people, old people, moms, dads, mascots marching bands, it was a-freakin-mazing!!! I have NEVER seen anything like this. The walk I remember was nothing like this, and I don’t know if it has changed now that it has been 22 years (I can only imagine it has!)! This was amazing, truly heart warming. I texted my brother a few photos from the mall, and got a little choked up at one point as I was aout to leave, thinking about how many people want a cure, and how many things out there NEED cures, Cancer, Lupus, Alzheimers, MS, and I got a little overwhelmed. Can’t do it all, but I can do a little bit and every bit helps. Maybe I need to work on being a bit more active in the community again…
So that’s how my Saturday started out… finding 20,000 people to be thankful for… Honoring my brother by walking, and honoring myself with a walk around the mall, inside where it is warm and safe away from the bitter cold and ice. What did you do this weekend?