MR. DIABETES® WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR
UPDATE : September, 2008
LOCATION: San Carlos Park, Florida
TOTAL MILES: 9861.3
I am now walking up RTE 41 on the Gulf Coast of Florida; heading north. San Carlos Park is about 35 miles north of Marco Island and 25 miles north of Naples. Further up the road is Ft. Meyers, Port Charlotte, Venice/Venice Beach, Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa and, finally St. Petersburg and Madeira Beach – THE FINISH!! That’s only about 160 miles to go!! So, now the plan is to walk just a few days a week at low mileage each walk – maybe just 5 +/- miles. I don’t want to get too far ahead of the planned celebrations: December 14 in Sarasota and December 21 in Madeira Beach. And, in case you are wondering if you are invited – YES!! – you are invited!! Just go to the DDF Home Page: www.DefeatDiabetes.org
and look at The Orange Festival – That’s US!!! and the second event in Madeira Beach.[A NOTE on both celebrations: The Orange Festival®: This is a special event being co-ordinated by Judy Dean of The Finer Places in Sarasota, FL. Judy is being assisted by our own Public Outreach Director, Dawn Swidorski. You can get more information by going to the DDF Home Page and/or POPSExtras.org. It is quite an event: a Parade with Motorcycles of Viet Nam vets, a fife & drum group (bagpipes), Big Top Tent which seats 1700 people (provided by PAL Sailor Circus), orange recipe contest, martial arts, dance and circus demonstrations, Blood Mobile for diabetes testing, booths and sponsors, and a whole lot more……………. Lots of fun for families and kids of ALL ages. Check it out!!!
The event in Madeira Beach is also being planned by Judy and Dawn. Here, we will have a parade which will end at Archibald Park on the beach. The theme is a bit different, as this will mark the final miles of THE WALK™ and ceremonies to acknowledge the eight years it represents. This, too, will be GREAT FUN!!!]
Meanwhile, I continue to walk & talk. On September 16, the day after we moved from Florida City Campground (on the east coast – The Gateway to the Florida Keys) to a campground in Naples, I met with Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala. From there, and at Commissioner Fiala’s suggestion, we then went to The Human Resources Dept. and met with Wellness Nurse Marilyn Hamachek. I am hopeful we can arrange a time to speak with the whole department while camped here in Naples.
Media coverage was practically non-existent for the past two months. The Miami Herald covers the southeastern region of Florida, and my interview with them was published on the internet August 5 and in print on August 7. TV coverage was about the same time. So, it wasn’t until I crossed The Everglades and reached Marco Island that media coverage began, again. Russ worked his magic there, and I had a great interview with The Marco Eagle, reporter Quentin Roux. Russ is back in mode and a couple of days later he arranged for another interview with The Naples Daily News. Photographer David Albers came out and walked with me for a mile, or so. Both these guys were great, and the public responded to their articles – lots of horns and greetings of encouragement.
And, even though summer is officially over, it’s still hot and a bit humid. But, that is beginning to lighten up. As we move further into Fall, temperatures are gradually dropping (now holding in mid the 80’s) and the humidity is not quite as high. So, life is getting a lot more pleasant for me.
Now that I’m through The Everglades I can look back at my walk through it. That was an interesting experience, something I’m glad I did and delighted I will not do again. The Everglades is an extraordinarily beautiful region of the U.S. and I recommend for everyone to add it to their itinerary if they come to Florida. It is Mother Nature in her original suit of clothes. But, do it in your car – not on foot. And, enjoy an airboat ride and visit the wildlife museums where alligators, snakes, panthers and more are featured. And, for those of you who are gamblers, the Miccosukee Indians offer a gambling casino. We (me and Tour Managers Russ & Shirley Barriger) didn’t step inside the casino, but it is a big building and, I’m sure, fully equipped with all the latest gambling games. It sits on RTE 41 about 19 miles directly west of downtown Miami. At that point you are in The Everglades.
On a serious note, the purpose of The MR. DIABETES® WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR has been a walk of diabetes awareness. I have met individually w/ over 76,000 people who have shared their diabetes concerns with me. And, the media has taken a genuine interest in this effort to impact diabetes by covering this story in over 1000 interviews in the newspapers, radio and TV. We have documented this media outreach, at this point, to be over 68 million people. I have met with about 150 elected officials, including Senator/Congressmen, Governors, Mayors, County Commissioners, City Councils and others, which has resulted with over 120 Proclamations (MR. DIABETES® Day, Defeat Diabetes® Day, Diabetes Awareness Day, etc.). I have met with community business leaders, hospital administrators, school administrators, world recognized diabetes researchers, and more…………
During all this time (8 years) I have been documenting “diabetes” as it exists in America – and it is UGLY!!!!!!!! I have been working 24/7 all of this time with our dedicated staff at Defeat Diabetes Foundation. In all this time and during these past 9861.3 miles I have walked, it has been SOLELY a walk of awareness!! I have never asked anyone for a donation during THE WALK™, although some people have offered a few pocket donations along the way, which I have accepted. I didn’t want to confuse this walk of “diabetes awareness” with a fund-raising effort. And I’m glad I did it that way.
But, now, as I close in on these final 160 miles, I ask you all to become a part of this historic and epic journey. If you are diabetic, if anyone in your family is diabetic, if you have a friend who is diabetic – then, you have directly benefited from what has been offered and learned, and what will be shared with you as a result of our efforts at Defeat Diabetes Foundation. And, more importantly, we can help prevent future suffering by preventing Type 2 diabetes 95%.
RECAP: Diabetes is an epidemic out of control.
*There are 24 million Americans who have it and one-third (1/3) don’t even know it!! This number is expected to TRIPLE by 2025!!
*There are 57 million Americans who are classified as “pre-diabetic” – people at high risk of developing it within the next 10-15 years.
*One of three children born in 2000 and going forward is expected to develop diabetes in their lifetime; and higher in certain ethnicities!!
Diabetes is a deadly disease.
*YEARLY: 24,000 new cases of adult blindness;
*2-4 times more likely to have a heart attack;
*4-6 times more likely to have a stroke;
*leading cause of kidney disease;
*life expectancy shortened by 10-15 years (average);
*over 215,000 deaths annually;
*and a whole lot more……..
Annual financial cost: OVER $200 billion!!!!
Well, NOW is the time for you to become a player! NOW is the time for you to get off your duffs and stand up and be counted! NOW is the time for you to look at your children, your spouses, your FAMILY and friends and take responsibility for them and share the responsibility with them!! ANYONE in your life, after reading this, who develops Type 2 diabetes, you will ALWAYS wonder if you could have done something to help prevent it, or certainly, caught it at its earliest possible time in order to prevent the nasty complications of diabetes. We CAN and WILL help you!! This is what we do and we are pretty darn good at it – we feel we are the best!!!!
If you want to take the easiest meaningful path, send a tax deductible donation to Defeat Diabetes Foundation and we will continue our great and meaningful works. No amount is too little, but $100.00 (one hundred dollars) will represent one penny of support for each and every mile I have walked. AND, except for finance/bank charges (2%-3%) ALL of your donation will go directly to Defeat Diabetes Foundation – 100%!! Our mission is prevention, and early identification if it’s too late for prevention.
If you wish to do volunteer work, we are developing programs which will be in place beginning in 2009.
This UPDATE has focused on getting through The Everglades and back into civilization. Clearly, there’s a lot going on, but don’t ignore our many valuable programs: E-Lerts™ newsletter; Defeat Diabetes® News Service; MADDCAP™, DefeatDiabetes® CareGiverHelper; Acsia Insurance; B-CLEAR energy drink; Sensational Stevia Desserts; American Diabetes Wholesale; HobNobLocal.com; and several others, which can be found on the side rails of our over 3500 pages on this website. And, we will soon be adding other products & services helpful to diabetics and those interested in achieving and/or maintaining their good health.
And, now, because I feel it is so important, what follows is a REPEAT!!!
Defeat Diabetes Foundation is now into its 19th year in existence – as of September, 2008. In our non-profit 501(c)(3) capacity we have grown to help people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We also have a presence, via the internet, into over 28 countries around the world. Our programs, which we offer to the world, are free to them and ongoing. But, they are not free to us. The cost of raising money to continue to deliver our valuable programs is prohibitive. But, in these trying times, we are left little choice. But, YOU can 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. You may donate to any of our programs with VISA, MASTER CARD or AMERICAN EXPRESS.
During my perimeter walk of the United States I have interacted, one-on-one, with tens of thousands of individuals who suffer with diabetes. These victims require relief NOW, for themselves AND their families. It is absolutely clear and well recognized by top diabetes researchers and scientists that there WILL NOT be a cure in the next 20-30 years, if then. But, we know how to prevent future Type 2 diabetes (90% of the total 24 million diabetics in the U.S.) 95% of the time. That means we can prevent diabetes from afflicting 95% of the 57+ million pre-diabetics in the U.S.) So, Defeat Diabetes Foundation is introducing programs that address prevention.
So, please make your next tax deductible donation to: Defeat Diabetes Foundation.
For sponsorship and/or advertising on our website: www.DefeatDiabetes.org and click on Products & Services to learn our policy(ies).
Remember, as MR. DIABETES® says: “What’s worse than finding out you have diabetes? …….. NOT finding out!!!!”
AWARENESS + ACTION = PREVENTION®