By Jill Ciampa
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) held its fourth annual walk to raise funds and awareness for diabetes in Warren last weekend at the GM Tech Center in Milford. Thousands of people came out for the walk and to show the effect Type One diabetes has had on them and loved ones.
“You think it doesn’t affect you, but it always does,” said William C. Young, CEO of Absopure, with regard to diabetes. “[My employees] are like family and that’s how it affects you…there’s always someone, whether it’s family or a friend.”
At the Milford event, teams came together to acknowledge their impact by wearing personally designed shirts of red, green, orange and every other color of the rainbow. Those suffer from diabetes wore blue shirt during the walk. Between the event and contributions from many parties, JDRF raised $733,000 of their $869,000 goal.
JDRF not only supplies funds to finding a cure, but also provides emotional aid to families new to Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Although they are available as a service to help families throughout their entire lives, they specialize in aiding families through the emotional turmoil of the original diagnosis.
T1D is the more severe form of diabetes, causing the immune system to damage itself. T1D are insulin-dependent because the immune system sees insulin-producing cells as a threat and destroys them. Without insulin, T1D sufferers can have high blood sugar that can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart, and also has the possibility to cause a coma or death.
Last year JDRF collected an average of $225 million dollars towards their cause. JDRF has also been recognized by the New York Times as “one of the nation’s most forceful disease advocacy groups.” They were publically represented at this walk by Local 4 news.
All of the money raised is put into research to find a cure for T1D. Most of the money is raised by events like this walk, but JDRF also holds family fun days, car shows, races, and golf classics all over the nation.
Young added, “walks like this, they give people an astounding amount of hope. The unity you see [here], you can’t find that anywhere else.”