I recently starting working at JDRF and until this year I had never been to a JDRF One Walk. To be really honest, I hadn’t even heard of JDRF One Walk. I am writing this story to share my experiences of Walk this year because I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to see firsthand what this event is all about.
My first-ever JDRF One Walk was at Speers Point Park in Newcastle, NSW. It’s a beautiful location situated next to the lake. The drive up from Sydney on the morning of the event meant leaving home at 6 am. I arrived onsite at around 8 am, without really knowing what to expect. The first thing I saw was the preparation process and I was blown away by the many staff and volunteers who work hard to make these events come to life.
I was also very happy to meet our community as they filtered in for their walk, and the rest of the day’s events. Throughout the day, I talked with some fantastic families and individuals. I can share a secret now; I even got to bounce around under the guise of Jasper. At Newcastle we had a DJ, dance performances, face painters and kids rides. (Unfortunately I was too big to ride… ) Despite it being very a hot day (in that Jasper suit!) whenever I think back to the Newcastle Walk, it brings a smile to my face.
My next Walk was Sydney at Parramatta Park. After we set things up again, in the light rain and quite a bit of mud, I volunteered to be a walk marshal. I was able to put on a yellow vest, and direct the Walkers (or runners), ensuring everyone knew the right path for the Walk. As people streamed through my section of the Walk, I was struck by just how diverse our T1D community is. Yes, our community. I feel like I’m now a part of the community supporting type 1 diabetes. To be honest I was quite blown away by the number of people who came out to support the T1D community at JDRF One Walk and I was very happy to be part of it.
Before I started working at JDRF, I was one of those people who did not really understand the difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. But in the 3 months I have worked here, I’ve gained a good understanding about T1D, as well as getting to meet with the amazing families affected by and supporting people with T1D.
Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to get to know you, and together we can work towards a cure for type 1 diabetes. And I’m looking forward to meeting more of you next year! – Jasper
Key Facts – JDRF One Walk 2015
- Fundraising results: on track to reach $850,000
- Registered participants: 5314
- Event Attendees: 15,000 (estimate)
- Celebrity Ambassador: a big thank you to TV’s Rob Palmer