MR. DIABETES® WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR
UPDATE : February, 2008
LOCATION: Pineora, Georgia
TOTAL MILES: 9137.5
February was a tough month: the weather was fairly “miserable”, as there were way too many days/nights below freezing, rain days and, yes a few warm & sunny days, too; the walking conditions were high hills and deep valleys during the first half of the month before the roads leveled off, and there have been absolutely no shoulders on which to walk – so, I’ve been dodging traffic, as I have been doing since walking out of Washington, DC - VERY dangerous; and my personal aches & pains were incessant, especially my aching back, which had been plaguing me since mid-December, 2007.
But, now, February is history. The weather has been steadily improving and Russ Barriger, my Tour Manager (along with his wife, Shirley), has mapped a safer route to Savannah and my back ache is practically non-existent. So, color me HAPPY!!!!
I want to take a moment to congratulate my Canadian friends, Bob & Trudi Banting for successfully saving the historic Banting Homestead, located in Alliston, Ontario, Canada. This is the birthplace of Frederick Banting, the man who discovered insulin, along with Charles Best, in 1921. This discovery, of course, has saved the lives of hundreds of millions of people world wide. Bob is Frederick’s Great Grand Nephew.
Bob and Trudi have led a very strategic and costly battle to prevent this 170(?) acre farm from being sold to real estate developers. They have documented Frederick’s life in a most impressive fashion. Then, they took that documentation to the highest levels of the Canadian Government, gaining the support of Canada’s three major political parties, as well as the Canadian and world populations. They fought an uphill battle that was road blocked at every turn by powerful money interests. But, they prevailed.
I was introduced to the Bantings by mutual friend Clarence Haynes. And, in 2005, along with another friend, Dexter Waldren, who has since died from diabetes complications, we visited this rustic homestead. (We affectionately call ourselves “The Four Amigos”.) It is a monumental historic preservation because diabetics now have a place of origin to honor Frederick’s contribution to humanity. Incidentally, Frederick won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery. I am proud to say that Defeat Diabetes Foundation played a small role of support and led all other organizations in doing so. And, in that regard, I want to pass on Bob & Trudi’s appreciation to all of you who engaged this cause. I thank you, too.
THE WALK™ continues to enjoy a fantastic reception from the media with lots of interviews and from the general public who come out to share their diabetes experiences and concerns.
During the course of THE WALK™, along with the over 65 million Americans who have benefitted from it via media exposure, I have also met, one-on-one, with over 60,000 individuals who have come out to greet me and share their diabetes experiences and concerns. And, during this time, I have NEVER solicited any amount of money. THE WALK™ has been one of “diabetes awareness”. That said, there have been occasions when people want to make a donation, and hand me amounts of money – mostly pocket change and amounts rarely exceeding $5.00 - $10.00. When these moments occur, I accept the donation on behalf of Defeat Diabetes Foundation (DDF), and I always follow with the pledge that 100% of their donation will be forwarded to DDF. With this in mind, I want to share a VERY special meeting that occurred just the other day………………..
As I was walking through a small town on my way to Statesboro, GA I was stopped by a man driving his car in the downtown section. This town is so small that it does not have a newspaper, radio or TV station. The sidewalk going through the center of town is 3/10 of a mile long. Only one main street. So, whatever news the citizens here get is from neighboring cities & towns. And, granted, I have been getting a lot of attention from this nearby media exposure.
Anyway, this man recognized me, “You’re the guy walking for diabetes?!”. I acknowledged that I was and he proceeded to ask me to wait where I was. He wanted to go home and get his 5year old daughter, Mary R., who was home sick with the flu, but wanted to meet MR. DIABETES® and that she had something to give me. That he would only be a few minutes. I called Russ to come up to where I was and to pull out the cameras. I sensed something special was about to happen.
When he returned he did so in a golf cart (small town America) and had with him his wife, daughter Mary R. and her twin brother. It turned out that the man is the Pastor at the local church and his wife had recently lost her mother after severe complications from diabetes. Mary R. loved her Grandmother and by way of tribute had been saving her money to donate to help eliminate this insidious disease.
The meeting was a lot of fun. Small town America people are real down to earth people. We all laughed and joked, took pictures and camcorder filming, traded contact information and I gave them a package of diabetes related articles.
The amount of money donated is not material to this story, but Mary R’s sincerity, compassion and heart that motivated it is HUGE!!! They are a beautiful family and are, as are all those who have stopped to talk with me, an indelible part of THE WALK™. It is times like these that make me realize how valuable a service we are delivering. THANK YOU, MARY R…………….
[CORRECTION: In last month’s UPDATE I stated the word “rhythm” is the only word in the English language that has no consonants. What I meant to say is that “rhythm” is the only word in the English language that has no vowels.]
Okay, that’s it for this UPDATE. We are into the New Year and we continue to build on all the wonderful accomplishments of 2007 and the years leading up to now. For those of you (44 million) in the position of “caregiver” do yourselves a favor and check out our Defeat Diabetes® CareGiverHelper program. It’s located on every one of our approximately 3000 pages of our website: www.DefeatDiabetes.org
It was in development for 1½ years and it works beautifully!!! And it’s FREE!!!!!!
If you wish to advertise your products/services on our website, or be a Sponsor please go to our Products & Services tab at the top of all website pages to learn about our prices and policies.
Also, when at the website, I urge you to make a donation to help us to continue to help you. Even if I haven’t asked you personally, we need your help to get some other worthwhile programs launched, as well as keeping other programs ongoing, like our KIDD™ Project, MADDCAP™ Project, THE WALK™, the DDF website - which is an incredible diabetes information resource second to none, and others.
If you are diabetic, or know someone who is, I guarantee you all are benefitting from what Defeat Diabetes Foundation is doing in the areas of early identification and prevention. That is where this fight will be won. If you are holding out and waiting for a cure – FORGET IT!!!! IT IS NOT COMING FOR 20-30 YEARS, if THEN!!!!!! We know how to prevent Type 2 diabetes up to 95% of the time.
1 in every 3 children born after the year 2000 is expected to develop diabetes in their lifetime!!! That is SCARY!!! 54 million Americans are already pre-diabetic and means they will get diabetes in the next 10-15 years UNLESS……………… YES, we can prevent it in up to 95% of ALL those cases. But, it takes support from YOU to do it. The government isn’t doing it, the pharmaceutical companies aren’t doing it, other diabetes organizations aren’t doing it. Defeat Diabetes Foundation IS doing it.
But, we need YOUR HELP to broaden the programs that will get it done. Get involved with DDF. PLEASE HELP!!!! When you designate a program for your support 100% of that donation (less bank processing fees if you use a Major Credit Card) will go to that program. Defeat Diabetes Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, which allows for your donation to be tax deductible. Donate to Defeat Diabetes Foundation with our GroundSpring.com secure online donation form. You may donate to any of our programs with either VISA, MASTER CARD or AMERICAN EXPRESS.
Remember, What’s worse than finding out you have diabetes? …….. NOT finding out!!!!