Dear Mrs. Jank,
Through this writing I have gone through quite a major process. I initially started with this piece being a creative essay, but I simply couldn’t find a good way to express all the information that I wanted to get across so I changed it to a journal article. A journal article allows me to bring forward the facts about JDRF, while sharing specific details that I noticed along the way of the walk, and I could write in quotes from what other people said that day as well. I worked on the placement of each of these elements, making sure they were appropriately placed throughout. I wanted to make sure that my reader could gain the full experience just by reading this article, so I added the facts about JDRF to give them some more information. I hope that in reading this, you are able to see the community that presents itself in Lincoln once a year. A time where all of these families can come together and feel support around them. Thank you for taking the time to read my piece.
Changing the World
One Mile at a Time
By: Kayla Ernstmeyer
Type One to Type None. That’s the goal that JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, is working to achieve. Sunday, September 24th might have just been a normal Sunday for anyone else, but not for those in Lincoln, Nebraska. This was the day the JDRF walk came to town.
This organization was founded nearly 50 years ago by parents who wanted to start the search to find a cure for their children who had been affected by Type One diabetes. It has grown nationally and now walks are held all over America, to raise awareness for the disease.
Lincoln certainly showed their awareness. On a drizzly Sunday afternoon, there were 88 teams who participated in a walk around the Haymarket. Not a fair-weather fan in sight.
The route followed a path out of the southeast end of Haymarket park, through a few downtown streets, past Pinnacle Bank Arena, across the bridge that reads “Lincoln,” looping back into the stadium. In total, it added up to only be a mile.
“Walking that path really helped me see the changes that Lincoln has gone through. The old buildings leaving their legacy and the new buildings and structures right along side of them waiting to start their own lasting legacy” says Megan Garbe, a participant in the walk.
That one mile raised over $155,000 to go towards JDRF. This cause is something near and dear to each family that participates in the walk and they want to make sure that they do their part in making a difference.
Judy Weyand, a grandmother of a child with Type One diabetes says, “Seeing so many people come out to an event like this, especially in the rain, means a lot. Everyone who came out today, took a break from their lives and showed support.”
In previous years the walk has been held at Holmes Lake, but as previously stated, the walk was held in the Haymarket this year. The organization was able to take advantage of the facilities that the park itself provided. A playground for kids before/after they completed their mile, as well as bounce houses, and also plenty of seating areas for families to gather around and enjoy some good food.
The space was well utilized and everything was organized smoothly, however in talking to Lexie Kreizel who has participated in the walk for several years now, Holmes Lake was preferred. “I thought it was cool but I was disappointed because I love walking around Holmes lake and being able to see everyone walking and just the environment at Holmes made it feel like there were more people there.”
The whole walk brought forth a sense of community that you can’t find in many places. Each and every family there was affected in the same way. Someone they love has to live with Type One diabetes. This gave all of them a connection. Not all of the families knew each other personally, however they could find comfort in knowing that they were not the only ones affected by diabetes.
Each family, having something so obvious in common, was able to show their support in a very different way. While walking the mile, it was easy to tell who belonged to who. Each family wore a different colored shirt to show just who they were walking for that day.
“My favorite part about the walk is seeing who has the most colorful T-shirts, its easy to see how many different families are really here just by looking their shirts” says Keri Leimbach, another participant in the walk.
Along with the walk itself each family gets a chance to enter a team name and raise a certain amount of money for their particular team to go to JDRF in the end. These teams, which are families most of the time, are the ones you will see with the different colored shirts. While each family represents a different team, everyone who participates in the walk ultimately belongs to a bigger team- Type One to Type None!