With over 2000 Walkers at outside of M&T Bank Stadium last Saturday, the Baltimore community came together to raise over $508,000 (and counting!) for T1D research. Don’t miss out on our two upcoming Walks this spring: Loudoun County (April 29) at Brambleton Town Center and Washington, DC (June 3) on the National Mall.
Here’s why some families got involved with One Walks and why they keep coming back every year!
Hailing from Millersville, MD, Madison’s Miracle Marchers was formed in the fall of 1991, when Lisa and Dave Keppel’s daughter, Madison was diagnosed with T1D at just 18 months. This was their 18th year participating in the One Walk.
Said Lisa, “When my daughter was diagnosed we were very sad and angry. We had no history of diabetes in our family, so we had no idea what we were doing! Our family was feeling very helpless, and we just wanted to do something. JDRF helped us to feel like we were at least helping in some way.”
Madison, now 19 and a college freshman, still struggles with the disease. On Walk day Lisa hopes to talk to other families who struggle: “We have been living with this disease for 18 years now and we still feel we don’t have a handle on it sometimes. It helps knowing other people go through the same things and connecting with them.”
“The One Walk has always helped Madison and our family feel like we were not alone. It also makes Madison feel very special to see all the support she has year to year from family and friends,” said Lisa. “I also have to give credit to JDRF for the new technologies that come out year after year that they help provide. It has helped provide our family with some peace of mind as Madison becomes more independent.”
Caroyln Thalman, of Winchester, VA, still remembers how calm and collected her mother was when she was diagnosed with T1D in the summer of 1958. “My mother just seemed to have everything together,” said Carolyn. “It was only later I learned how terrified she was at the time.”
Over the years, Carolyn had donated to JDRF. Ten years ago, having lived with T1D for decades, she decided it was time to do more. “I decided that I needed to celebrate – or maybe acknowledge is a better word – having lived well with diabetes for 50 years. I recruited my family and friends and we participated as Carolyn’s Hope – A Cure. Ten years later and we are now 60 Years and Counting!”
When it comes to advice for others living with T1D, Carolyn said confronting it head-on is best. “I have had diabetes for 60 years. I have a wonderfully supportive husband, two beautiful daughters and 5 fabulous grandchildren. I have lived and traveled around the world. I continue to travel and volunteer in disasters, in my community hunger programs, and with my church. Diabetes is life-altering, but it is not the end. People living with T1D are more than their diabetes and we will continue to make change together.”
Inspired to Walk with us? Join us! You can find your local One Walk at walk.jdrf.org