JDRF’s One Walk is the largest T1D event in the world. At its core, it is what its name says: a walk. But in reality, it’s much more. It’s an event that unites our community and our commitment to finding cures for T1D. It’s an event that exemplifies JDRF’s theme of this year’s National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM): The Power of Us.
While this year will be different because of the coronavirus pandemic, the JDRF One Walk will still bring us together to end T1D. The goal? 1.6 million miles for the 1.6 million Americans living with T1D.
Below, several One Walk participants share why they walk. Some have been walking for decades, while others are taking their first steps with us this year!
Annie Field of Denver, Colorado
Team: Beatin’ Da’Betes
Years walking: About 20 years
“This disease can make you feel so helpless sometimes. I can’t go and find a cure myself, but I can go fundraise my heart out to pay those smart and talented researchers to find me a cure! It gives me something tangible that I can do to ensure that someday I won’t have to live with T1D.”
Ellie Carlson of Oregon City, Oregon
Team: Team Poke-me-mon
Years walking: 5 years
“We had not heard of JDRF or the JDRF walk until my diagnosis on July 11, 2014. We saw posters for it at our endocrinologists office and decided to join them.Our entire family–20 people from all over the state–participated. It was so amazing seeing my family support me and all the other kids diagnosed with T1D. It was a very special day. Since then we created our own team and it has gotten bigger with friends joining as well. The JDRF brings awareness and a community for families who are all going through the same ordeal together. With being virtual [this year], it is easy to now have friends from all over participate. We are so excited to see who joins our team for the November walk!”
Stephanie Strohmenger of Tinton Falls, New Jersey
Team: Stephanie’s Steppers
Years walking: 23 years
“OneWalk is always a reminder to me that I am not alone in this fight for a cure for Type 1 diabetes… I was diagnosed in 1994, at the age of 9, with Type 1 diabetes. I had started out as an individual walker with my family during the first year of my diagnosis. Three years later, my family took note of the other team names and decided that we should have a team name as well, inviting friends and family to attend the walk with me. My team started with a few friends and family; now 23 years later, we have at least 15-20 friends/family that join us each year.”
Ernie Richman of Painesville, Ohio
Team: Lions at Akron-Cleveland
Years walking: 5 years
“It is a chance to do something positive and it fits in with almost anyone’s schedule. Be part of the solution… That is why I decided to walk 30 miles on October 11 at the Girdled Road Reservation in Lake County Ohio. I am dedicating this walk to a Lion who struggled with diabetes for over 50 years and recently passed away.”
Denise Scheffler of Warren, New Jersey
Team: NJ Metro T1D’s
Years walking: This is their first year!
“This year I decided that everyone is home is this pandemic situation and it would be nice to come together as a team a little differently. I decided that there are so many people that want to walk, but choose not to because they don’t have a team to belong to like myself. So I decided there should be one large team for others that want to be involved and want a team to join. It has been surprising that we have discussed a new team and a week later we had at least 8 new members. Anyone from anywhere can join this team no should feel like they don’t have support this year!!!”
Learn more about JDRF’s Virtual One Walk, including how to register and create your own walk team!