With the support of the ADA, I am able to share my story. A story I never imagined sharing in the first place, which goes to show that diabetes can affect anyone of any age and any size.Read more...
Did you know that service dogs can assist with monitoring blood sugar and help to care for people with diabetes? Eight-year-old Nathaniel Sams and his dog, Malachi are an inseparable pair who want to raise awareness and Stop Diabetes!Read more...
My experience with type 1 diabetes began in January of 1998, when my mother was first diagnosed at the age of 47. So, when my four-year-old son was diagnosed 13 years later, I thought I knew everything there was to know. Boy, was I wrong.
For every $100 you raise or donate to yourself online between July 15 and August 15, you'll receive a free movie ticket from Fandango! The more you raise online, the more movie tickets you’ll receive! And with every $100 you raise, you'll be making an even bigger impact for people affected by diabetes.Read more...
Team Captain, Robyn Connors of Team Triumphant Turtles in Wichita, KS, shares her story.
"I walk in her memory. I walk to help others not have to go through the daily battles that she did. I walk so that one day no one will have to lose a loved one to diabetes. I walk to remember my sister and the great things she was able to do before diabetes took its toll."Read more...
Rachel LaCrosse, captain of Team Mustache from Step Out Orange County, has raised $10,000 over the last three years. Learn about her "theme" and FUNdraising tips for the rest of us!Read more...
Camp Carolina Trails has a motto: "Positive Mental Attitude". And they bring that to their Step Out team in a big way, raising more than $22,000 over the past four years!Read more...
Team FIS (Fidelity Information Services) has been the Top Team for three years in a row in the Jacksonville Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. They have raised a combined $220,000 in that span of time. Find out why their team walks!Read more...
Team captain Dayna Boisvert shares why she walks. She is a Red Strider, as are many of her family members. She is committed to walking and raising money until a cure is found!Read more...
Lisa walks in memory of her fiance, Don Marks, who passed away in 2008. Lisa says, "As I do every year, I am walking in honor of my fiance, Donald (Porky) Marks. He was and always will be my best friend and the love of my life."Read more...
Bob Frey, a first-time Step Out participant in 2012, shares his Step Out story. Fellow Red Striders inspired him to make a positive change in his own life and now he is determined to inspire others to do the same!Read more...
Do you walk for yourself? For someone you love? For someone you lost?
Everyone has a unique reason for participating in Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. Every story matters. We are in this together and by sharing our stories – similar in some ways, different in others – we let others know that while diabetes is not easy, we are doing something to fight back!Read more...
Philadelphia staffer Erin McDevitt shares some secrets to committee success!Read more...
From time to time, we get some pretty amazing stories sent to us at the Home Office of ADA. Compelling stories, inspiring stories, and emotional stories. This story below falls into the ALL OF THE ABOVE category. A huge thanks goes out to Mike Menicucci, a store director with Albertsons in Arizona for sharing his story.
I want to tell you about my son who became very ill back in December of 2007. He was only five years old at the time. He lost 15lbs in just a couple of weeks. My wife and I didn’t know what was going on. No matter what we did he simply just did not get better.
One day when he was feeling worse than usual we took him to the ER in Rock Springs, WY. His weight had dropped down to just 37lbs. He had no energy; he couldn’t keep food down and had lost all of his spirit. He resembled a malnutritioned child out of National Geographic. We feared the worst.
Within an hour we found ourselves in an ambulance on our way to Children’s Primary Hospital in Salt Lake City. It was a terrifying experience. He was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes also known as Type 1 Diabetes.
I was very naive at the time and really didn’t know much about the disease. At first I thought that it just meant that I couldn’t feed him doughnuts and other surgery foods anymore. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I had no idea how much my entire family's life was about to change.
We spent the next week working with hospital staff and volunteers from the ADA learning about diabetes. We learned how to manage my son's blood glucose levels, how to manage his diet, and most importantly how to make sure my son could live a long healthy life. My entire family learned how to give Justin shots of insulin.
Volunteers from the ADA helped to answer our questions and helped to comfort my wife and my son.
My son is now 10 years old. In the past five years he has had to prick his finger to check his blood sugar over 20,000 times. He has had over 12.000 shots of insulin. He carries a glucometer with him at all times. He has a backpack full of his diabetes supplies that never leaves his side.
That may sound bad, but my son is a very amazing person. With the education he received from the ADA he manages his diabetes very well. Even though he checks his blood sugar about ten times a day and receives a minimum of six shots a day he doesn’t let that slow him down. He plays football, soccer and plays as hard as any kid in our neighborhood. He does well in school and goes to bed every night with his diabetic teddy bear named Rufus.
Tomorrow I plan on buying the first 50 pinups in my store. I will also be personally funding a contest for my cashiers in addition to anything the ADA will be doing.
Albertsons has always done a lot of fundraising campaigns. I know they can sometimes become overwhelming and frustrating, but I am asking your help in making this the most successful campaign so far. This is for a wonderful organization that has helped me and my family. I am sure that you don’t have to look very far to find someone close to you that has been helped by the ADA as well. Let’s show the rest of the division why District 4 is the best!
Mike's appeal to his employees and co-workers is already paying off - I hear that they are already outpacing past pinup campaigns and are on track to break records. Way to go!
Lastly, a big thanks also goes out to Albertsons Grocery chain, who (as Mike alludes to) is in the midst of a multi-state pinup campaign in support of Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes in the month of August. THANK YOU Albertsons for your support and dedication to helping Stop Diabetes!
Until next time,
You really can’t ignore the mobile revolution happening in fundraising, and if you AREN’T on Facebook now, you are in the minority. With those realities in mind, Step Out has been working hard to make sure we are at the forefront of this technology this year and beyond. It’s a process, but things are going well and we just wanted you to be in the know!
Mobile Application: New in 2012 is the mobile app that can be downloaded on iPhone or Android. I have to say that this is SO cool! Basically once you are registered, you can download the app and do lots of things on the go – from updating your personal page, checking your fundraising, or e-mailing your friends to ask for a donation. SO COOL! If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to (first register at www.diabetes.org/stepout if you haven’t already) and download it FOR FREE at the iPhone or Android stores.
Facebook: Once again this year we have an awesome Facebook fundraising application that does the work for you. You can download it from your Step Out Center and choose messages you’d like to have sent out on your newsfeed and raise funds without lifting a finger. Click on the "Fundraising Tools" tab in your Step Out Center to download the app.
I have to tell you the first year I did this even my dentist gave me $25! I hadn’t even realized we were friends on Facebook. So far we’ve had 110 people register through this application and raised more than $33,461 in just a few short months!!!
PS – We also have a new and improved Step Out Facebook page. If don’t already, like us today! www.facebook.com/adastepout
Tell us what you think of these tools and our other improvements online. Our goal continues to be to make sure that we keep fundraising easy, fun, cool, and something you love to do!
National Director, Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes
Father's Day is fast approaching, and as sales rack up for golf-ball ties and sweaters, I thought I'd write you about another way to honor Dad that could really show him how much he is loved.
My own father has had diabetes for almost 15 years now. About 6 months ago, he became insulin dependent, and really had a tough time dealing with this drastic change in lifestyle. After a few months of really struggling, he's emerged on the other side healthier than he has been in years. He is truly LIVING diabetes management, as opposed to doing the baseline of what needed to be done. Now he has even taken to boasting about his blood sugar scores on Facebook. Also, he is again forming a team for Step Out in Baltimore and we are hoping to have a great year in terms of fundraising.
This story is unfolding all over the country. There are so many Dads that are touched by diabetes, and so many stories of families rallying around their Dads and forming teams in their honor, or in their memory.
Check out Nikki's story. http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/StepOut/Southeast
What an incredibly moving story about raising funds in memory of her father.
Or Team Galasso: http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR?team_id=535689&fr
Another family dedicated to walking and raising funds in honor of their father that they've lost.
So whether your Dad is living with diabetes, or has passed, participating in Step Out is another way to honor him and carry on his legacy. It's also a great healthy activity tfor the whole family that can help prevent AND manage diabetes as well.
To my own Dad - keep up those awesome scores and your hard work so I can have 20 or 30 more Father's Days where I get the chance to tell you how much you are appreciated and loved, and how grateful I am for the impact you have on my life!
PS - Want to start a team in honor or in memory of your father? Start it today at www.diabetes.org/stepout - and let your Dad know on Father's Day that you did it for him!
I’ve got a drawer full of t-shirts from Step Out events through the years. I often wear them when I go out for a walk or cleaning up around the house, or attending an ADA event, or just going food shopping. I’m proud of the t-shirts I’ve earned through fundraising and I love when the shirt sparks a conversation with a stranger about diabetes and how it has touched their lives.
Check out this year’s t-shirt chosen by our walkers. Looking good! I have to admit, I was kind of hoping this is the one that would be chosen.
Why t-shirts? For years, Step Out has always rewarded fundraisers - $100-$150 based on the walk location - with a t-shirt, but why? We want you to wear it proudly and help us spread the word about the Stop Diabetes movement. We want people talking about Step Out, and joining the growing ranks of walkers around the country. We want to raise awareness about the American Diabetes Association and everything we are doing to help people with diabetes and their loved ones!
If you like the shirt this year, there is no time like the present to register yourself and start raising those funds. By raising enough to get a t-shirt, you are making a statement about your commitment to our cause. I hope you like the shirt on walk day and wear it proudly. And I hope – weeks or months after walk is over – that you find yourself in a conversation with a stranger and realize that so many of us are touched by this disease. And I hope you tell them about Step Out!
Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes
I don’t think we can ever thank our fundraisers enough. As someone who knows what it takes to raise money, I’m constantly looking at how we can reward our fundraisers in ways big and small.
One of the things we’ve done for years in Step Out is a fundraising incentive program to reward fundraisers from $200-$10,000 and beyond. Everything from cookbooks, branded apparel and bicycles to ipods and TVs! We want our walkers to get some goodies for all of their hard work. For walkers who’d prefer to donate their prize back, we offer that option as well. Additionally, many Team Captains use the item as a reward for their top donor or walker. To see all of our incentive fundraising levels and prizes, check out our Incentive Prize Website.
While these incentive gifts are nothing new, we are VERY excited to unveil some NEW badges that you can earn for fundraising and more. First off, you can earn fundraising badges for reaching different levels of fundraising online. $200 earns you a ‘Fast Walker’ badge, $1,000 makes you a ‘Champion to Stop Diabetes’, all the way up to the coveted $10,000 ‘Trophy Worthy’ Badge. Secondly, we’ve got new – and REALLY cool looking – badges for other things you do online. Remember Boy/Girl Scout badges? The sewing badge? Archery badge? Well it’s kind of like that. You can earn a badge for simply telling your story on your personal page. You can also earn a badge for sending just 10 e-mails, or donating to your own fundraising efforts. Lastly, there is a badge for downloading our Facebook fundraising app. To check out all the cool badges we have, visit our website.
We hope you like our prizes and badges! And make sure you ask your local Walk Manager about other incentives they are promoting as well in your town.
Fundraise for a good cause, AND get prizes? Now that is cool! But only one way to get started….register today!
Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes
This week is National Volunteer Week, and it really serves to remind me of just how vital volunteers are to our organization and to Step Out. Not only do they help our Step Out events run smoothly, but they plan the events, they help recruit walkers, they help secure new teams, they help promote our events.....the list goes on and on. In short we couldn't do what we do at the American Diabetes Association without them!
So I’m happy to be featuring one of our invaluable volunteers (and a Top Fundraiser) from Philadelphia. Josh Gilmore, Social Media Chair for the Philadelphia Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. Here’s his story:
Why I Volunteer
Despite not having diabetes myself, it has always been a part of my life. Even from a very young age, I have memories of my uncle, John E. Gilmore, and his struggles with the disease. Despite living a healthy and active lifestyle, John was diagnosed with adult-onset type II diabetes. He began an insulin regimen, and even though he always did his best to adhere to the routine that comes with life as a diabetic, John struggled to control his diabetes. Fortunately, when his sugar would start to get low, he usually seemed to be in the company of a friend or family member who knew what to do. In that sense, diabetes had become a part of life for our entire family.
As John got older and grew more accustomed to life with diabetes, he was able to start managing the disease more effectively. His increased understanding of how diabetes affected him, along with advancements in technology and treatment methods, helped him to get back to a “normal” life. He was finally able to return to his active lifestyle and rededicate himself to doing what he loved most – making a difference in the lives of kids. John had served as the Director of Youth Sports Programs at the Glenwood YMCA in Erie, PA for over 15 years. “Coach John”, as the kids called him, spent his days getting children involved in a variety of sports at a young age, teaching the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship, and friendly competition. For John, it was truly a labor of love.
Unfortunately, on March 27, 2009, that labor of love ended tragically. That night, John’s levels dropped while he was sleeping, and this time there was no one there to help him. At age 50, John lost the fight with the disease that we all thought he finally had under control. Sadly, he passed away on the eve of the start of the youth soccer season at the Glenwood YMCA, which, at 700+ kids, would have been the biggest youth sports turnout of his career. At the time of his death, the YMCA was in the midst of a multi-million dollar expansion project - in October 2009, the completed addition was dedicated as the John Gilmore Recreational Center.
When people ask me why I volunteer, I tell John’s story. After his death, I committed myself to doing as much as I can to raise funds and awareness for diabetes research. I formed team Mighty Mites (in honor of the name of John’s youth sports program) for the 2010 Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes in Philadelphia, and started recruiting team members and soliciting donations. We emerged as the top Family and Friends team that year, a feat which we repeated in 2011.
I was proud of what we had accomplished, but not satisfied – I was looking for a way to do more. As luck would have it, I was contacted by Liz Scoropanos, Manager for the Philadelphia Step Out, regarding opportunities on the volunteer committee for the 2012 event. I jumped at the chance to get involved and to be an advocate for those of us who have been, are, or will be affected by diabetes in some way.
So I volunteer. I volunteer to raise funds and awareness to Stop Diabetes. I volunteer so that I can get the word out and be a voice for people affected by this disease. I volunteer to encourage others to get involved. But most of all, I volunteer to honor the memory of my Uncle John – so that all of the kids out there who have or need a “Coach John” in their lives will get the guidance, support, encouragement, and love that they need.
- Josh Gilmore
We wholeheartedly thank Josh and the thousands of volunteers who support Step Out. Volunteers are the backbone of the ADA! Thank you all for helping us to Stop Diabetes!
Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
Got questions? Email us!