Building Community: A family’s experience at Nordstrom Beat the Bridge


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) can be an isolating disease. Kim Harer was surprised at how difficult it was to find a community that not only understands the challenges of managing this 24/7 disease, but also makes her daughter Grace feel included.

“Our daughter Grace was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 8.  We had no idea at the time how much this would impact our family. We spent many months in isolation learning our new job as a full-time pancreas while trying to adjust to this new normal. Being a kid with T1D, can feel very isolating. Grace hates feeling different.”– Kim

Kim reached out to her friends and family in search of ways to build a T1D community, and thanks to a dear friend, she found Beat the Bridge and JDRF.

“A girlfriend suggested we start a team for Beat the Bridge. BEST DECISION EVER!” – Kim

And that’s how Beat the Bridge team, God’s Grace, was formed! In their first year participating in the event, God’s Grace recruited 56 team members and together they raised a whopping $6,554 for JDRF.

“We were joined by so many friends, family, classmates and neighbors – boy, did our team show up! Being surrounded by others that were just like her, I’d never seen her so confident.  This sweet girl that typically hides all things diabetes from the world was wearing her “T1D looks like me” tattoo loud and proud!  It was priceless sharing the community we have found through JDRF with our tribe!” – Kim

Team God’s Grace at the 2019 Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes

Every year, more than 300 family teams participate in the Nordstrom Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes. A community of more than 10,000 participants, volunteers, and donors show up to make a difference for those living with T1D. “Beat the Bridge made our family’s Top Moments of 2019” Kim says.

Grace and her family would like to invite you to join them at Husky Stadium on Sunday, May 17 for the 38th Annual Nordstrom Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes. You can register for the Beat the Bridge at Don’t forget there’s an event for the entire family including an 8k Race, 3-Mile Family Walk, 1 Mile Fun Run, and even a Diaper Derby!