This post is a little dated because I have been on the road and decided to wait until I got home to add the photos and publish my story. Last Sunday I got the opportunity to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge while supporting JDRF.
My youngest son lives in New York City with his wife and almost one-year-old daughter. In general I hate New York because I am a suburban girl at heart and get claustrophobic being around all the people and crammed-together buildings. But one night in early summer I saw a post by Alecia of Surface Fine mentioning the JDRF One Walk Manhattan 2014. Before I knew it, I had signed up and pledged to raise a certain amount of money and walk with Alecia’s Stem Cells team.
A little background here. I grew up on the East Coast and have been in and out of NYC most of my life. But I have never really liked it. I hate the crowds, I hate the filth, and most especially I hate the smells. Somehow I managed to have a child who loves New York, moved there after college, and has never left. Usually we see him when he comes to Minneapolis for family visits, holidays, and friends’ weddings. My husband occasionally has business in NYC and meets him for dinner. Now that my son is a father, I have pledged to visit him and his family occasionally rather than always make them come to my part of the world.
More background. When my darling granddaughter was born last October, I flew out to NYC to do my best to be helpful. Previously I had “met” Alecia online through Twitter and then her blog. I had also purchased one of her 2013 Alecia’s Stem Cells T-shirts because it was such a great design. So with no fear I emailed her to see if she would like to meet for lunch or a drink. In typical Alecia-style, she replied quickly and suggested Saturday brunch. We enjoyed our visit and found that we had a lot in common. Although I am a generation older than Alecia, we have both had Type 1 for over 35 years and we use Animas pumps and Dexcom G4 CGM’s. Since our first meeting a year ago, we have continued to keep up with each other in typical DOC-style with occasional Tweets, emails, and blog comments.
Alecia is an avid JDRF supporter and this was her 15th Walk. Alecia’s Stem Cells team raised over $37,500 this year. Rather than recreate the wheel, I’ll share Alecia’s summary of the fantastic 2014 walk:
We had Walkers this year from NY, NJ, PA, IL, and MN. We had our largest Walk team ever. We had friends and family from the very first Alecia’s Stem Cells team in 2001 and first time walkers who’d never been across the Brooklyn Bridge. We had a grandmother who’s T1D, a 40-something T1D (me), a 20-something T1D and a 8-year old T1D. The team may carry my name, but we were walking for ALL of us. Alecia’s Stem Cells was announced as one of the top 5 fundraising teams for the JDRF NYC. We ran out of yellow ASC team ONE to NONE shirts and even had some walkers in the grey shirts from our online fundraising sale last month. Simply put, it was AMAZING adventure this year.
I am especially glad that I joined Alecia’s walk this year because on Sunday afternoon she announced that this was the last walk for Alecia’s Stem Cells. She has decided to challenge herself by joining the JDRF’s endurance sports program and begin training for one of the 100-mile bike rides in 2015.
One thing that I know about Alecia is that whenever she tackles a project, she always gives 110% and doesn’t quit until she succeeds. I look forward to seeing which ride she chooses and I promise to support her with a donation. Although I was happy to cross the Brooklyn Bridge with Alecia, I can say with absolute certainty that I will neither accompany her on training rides around Manhattan nor join her for a 100-mile ride!
Here are a couple of photos: