They came. In colorful T-shirts and comfortable shoes, they came. An estimated 25,000 of them came to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) at the 10th annual Walk to Cure Diabetes. Volunteers from throughout Arizona laced up their sneakers and headed to Tempe Town Lake on Saturday, October 31st to “Say Boo to Diabetes.”
Type 1 or “juvenile” diabetes is a disease that affects more than 3 million Americans and is primarily diagnosed in children and young adults, requiring lifelong insulin treatment. This year, Angel MedFlight joined the fight against diabetes as a sponsor of this event, billed as the largest walk in the world. More than 40 of our employees, family members and friends completed the 5k course. We joined a multitude of walkers of every age from infants in strollers to active seniors, many of them personally connected to those living with diabetes.
Thousands of participants stopped by the Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance booth and learned more about medical air transportation. Fortunately most have never needed our medical transport services, but many seemed comforted to know that we are here, in case they do. We watched the children’s faces light up when we handed out squishy Angel MedFlight airplane stress relievers and we smiled when they played with their new treasure. We even encouraged hopeful contestants to enter our drawing to win a pair of Phoenix Suns tickets to the November 22nd game against the Detroit Pistons.
But most of all, we thanked them, the volunteers and participants who were motivated to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning to walk for a future where children can be free from daily insulin shots and the host of other challenges associated with diabetes. We saw the hope in their faces that one day there will be a cure, not just a treatment. We saw the passion in their eyes and we understood their commitment to making a difference. Their help was needed and they came.
Angel MedFlight thanks all of the volunteers, participants and sponsors of the 2009 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes! We are proud to join you.
View more photos from the JDRF Walk here.