– by Kat Carpenter
You don’t have to be big to make a big difference. That’s something Julie Beck, captain of Team Sweet Emilie Ann, knows very well. Julie’s daughter Emilie Ann, one of our littlest Silicon Valley walkers, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in 2012 at the age of 21 months. Julie says the Silicon Valley Walk has been a part of their world ever since. “This is our third year of celebrating those with type 1 and helping raise money to find a day of ‘Type None,’” she says. When Emilie was diagnosed, Julie says things changed for their whole family. “Not only is type 1 hard on the individual, it is hard on the family- the siblings and the parents’ relationship. We want to see the day in which we can leave our daughter overnight with a caregiver without being worried.”
That worry, and passion to help find a cure for T1D, has motivated Julie to build a strong Walk team of supporters raising record amounts of donations, one small fundraiser at a time. “We had a silent auction that brought in $2,000, and a few other events that each brought in under $500.” Julie’s creative smaller fundraisers included a garage sale and a “Mom’s Night Out” with cupcakes and champagne. Additionally, through her Walk Team page, Julie encourages visitors to donate, and also to ask their employers about company matching programs. She says, “Most large companies match the donation of their employees. Any amount can help the cause!”
Walk Day offers a chance for Julie, her husband CJ, and Emilie to share their passion with other families living with T1D, as well as their close friends and family.
“What I love about Walk Day is to be part of all the excitement and surrounded by people that know what life is like having type 1. We have several friends and family who come out to walk and play which makes it even more special, and we consider this day a of celebration for Emilie, to celebrate her bravery and courage. In addition, it is great to have vendors available to check out new technology and other items to make our type 1 life easier.”
In addition to enjoying the Walk Day camaraderie, Julie has strong motivation to participate in Walk as a fundraiser. She knows she’s helping to find a cure for T1D: “We want our daughter to see the day in which she doesn’t have to test herself before a meal or worry that her blood sugar will drop too much when she is playing, swimming, or partaking in sporting events. I want to see the day that I can actually wake up without having the fear of her not waking up. I want Emilie to attend parties and sleepovers and not have to worry about checking herself and administering insulin, but instead enjoying the time with her friends. I want to see the day in which I don’t have to hear her cry during a needle injection or change of an infusion set. The day we see ‘Type None’ is the day of freedom.”
Join Team Sweet Emile Ann and register for the Walk at walk.jdrf.org.