More than 2500 people signed up to join the 21st Annual Walk to Cure Diabetes at Delaware Park. I had the honor of speaking to the crowd on behalf of Channel 4 — a longtime sponsor of the Walk.
Because I have been a part of the Walk to Cure Diabetes for several years, I’ve gotten to know many of the families who are battling this life-changing disease. Though Type-1 Diabetes has typically been known as juvenile diabetes, 85% of the people who have it are adults!
Patrick Marks, the President of the JDRF Board of Directors who lives with Type-1 Diabetes, brought his son along with draw the winning raffle ticket. Kathleen Graim of Tops Markets provided the pool of tickets for the $500 drawing. Tops has been a loyal supporter of JDRF and hosts many fundraising programs.
We headed to the starting line in a golf cart loaded with children you have seen in the Juvenile Diabetes Walk public service announcements over the years: Mallory, Olivia, and Zak among them.
Children with Type-1 diabetes were invited to write their names on the roadway where the Walk will begin. It’s believed some 15,000 WNYers live with Type-1 diabetes. There is no cure.
It’s always great to see how much the children have grown each year as they learn to cope with the life changes that juvenile diabetes brings their way. The Buffalo Fire Department was on hand to help start the Walk. Paul Tatu of the BFD, a JDRF Board Member, helped organize the transition to Delaware Park this year.
Here’s the scene as thousands of walkers line up to join in the Walk to Cure Diabetes on Ring Road.
Karen Swierski, Executive Director of the WNY Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, can smile as the biggest fundraiser of the year for the chapter is ready to step off under blue skies and sunshine!
And they’re off! Thousands of people begin their 1.7 mile trip around Ring Road in the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Team “Inspiremily” was wearing purple shirts to support a child with juvenile diabetes.
You can see several different teams walking together with the common goal of finding a cure for juvenile diabetes. After the federal government, JDRF is the biggest funder of diabetes research in the world.
Some families came up with creative ways for show their support for loved ones living with juvenile diabetes.
Though we never caught up with young Erin McCarthy, we did spot these team members of “Erin’s Shamrocks”: Peggy, Kelly, little Sam, and Mrs. Spoth!
I interviewed Ryan Standish about how his family’s life has changed since Tyler was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes. Tyler, age 5, is doing well and is ready to start school in the fall.
News 4 videographer Josh Roy joined me in Delaware Park to provide news coverage of the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Here, we are interviewing Ryan Standish. His son, Tyler, lives with juvenile diabetes which requires life-long injections of insulin.
It’s great to see the children with juvenile diabetes growing and flourishing. CeCe Loicano poses here with one of the great warriors in the fight against diabetes — JDRF Executive Director Karen Swierski.
SpongeBob stopped in Delaware Park to say hello and support the Walk to Cure Diabetes.
We have lots of friends in the quest to cure diabetes: Barney, SpongeBob, and Dora the Explorer.
Here’s a team rallying around 6 year old Courtney of Buffalo, who was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes last fall. Courtney’s twin, Corey, was excited to be part of the team.
I look forward to seeing MacKenzie Duffy each year. Now in 7th grade, she has participated in the JDRF Walk for 9 years as a child who has lived with juvenile diabetes for most of her life.
The lively crew from the BlueCross BlueShield Healthy Zone Cruiser set up in Delaware Park to engage the young JDRF walkers in healthy activities after the Walk.
The Walk to Cure Diabetes included admission to the Buffalo Zoo and many of the walkers waited in line to see the Zoo’s celebrated polar bear cubs — Luna and Kali!
We saw both cubs. We think this is Kali enjoying a dip in the pool on a warm June day.
Janeen Duffy, who has participated in the JDRF Walk for nine years on behalf of her daughter, MacKenzie, snapped this photo in a close encounter (through the glass) at the Buffalo Zoo.
I’m not ‘lion’ — it was a great day for the Walk to Cure Diabetes in Delaware Park and the Buffalo Zoo.
I’ll stick my neck out here and say it was one of the best Walks to Cure Diabetes that JDRF has ever hosted in WNY!