What is a community? People have many ways of defining “community” and what being part of one means to them. For many, a community is a band of individuals who offer support, comfort, connection, and a basis to thrive. This was the impetus behind T1D Marin, a support group whose slogan is “Touching lives touched by T1 diabetes.” For Marcena Hopkins Peterson, founder of T1D Marin, when her son Sebastian was diagnosed with T1D five years ago just before his eighth birthday, it was important to find her “people,” and the group now feels like family.
It makes sense that T1D Marin has registered as a team for this year’s JDRF One Walk, San Francisco. “We are coming together as a team to show our strength as a community here in Marin, and to show our collective support for all the amazing things JDRF is doing,” says Marcena.
Team co-captain, Michelle Griffin, whose son Cameron was diagnosed with T1D eight years ago at the age of nine, hopes to offer an alternative for people who, for one reason or another, aren’t forming their own family teams this year. “For example, my son has ‘graduated’ from walking, but I still want to stay involved and do my part to raise money for a cure,” she says. Michelle’s co-captain, Emma Towslee, was diagnosed with T1D nearly a year ago at the age of seventeen. “This team is unique because we are a composition of very small families and single individuals who might not have otherwise created a team,” she says.
On Walk Day, the outpouring of support is awe-inspiring for everyone. Marcena’s favorite part of the experience is “looking out across a sea of people and knowing that we aren’t alone.” Walkers are powerfully united, sharing a common goal: raising funds to create a world without T1D.
“One of the silver linings of my son’s diagnosis is the people I have met along our journey,” says Michelle. “There is no more committed, passionate, wonderful group of people than those I have met in the T1D community.”
This year’s event will be Emma’s first JDRF One Walk and she is looking forward to meeting more people in the T1D community. She is also very focused on raising money with her team so that she and millions of others will one day be liberated from the burdens of T1D. “No more needing to be prepared and stocked with extra insulin, glucose tablets, meters, test strips and so much more. No more questions about the devices we may wear. No more fears of high or low blood sugars,” she says. “The Walk is a big fundraiser that can help lead to what we all want… a cure.”
Register for JDRF One Walk today at www.walk.jdrf.org.