As the last walkers crossed the finish line on Sunday 3 December in Sydney and Bendigo, the JDRF One Walk 2017 season rolled to a close. It’s certainly been an epic couple of months, with One Walks taking place around Australia each weekend.
We had more than 6,000 people register to Walk – and fundraise – and many, many more who turned up to support on the days.
You might also know already that we’ve raised more than $1 million dollars so far! This number will continue to grow as walkers bank funds raised and chase up any pledges.
One of the highlights of the 2017 One Walk season was welcoming Sir Ian “Beefy” Botham to Australia, along with his family. Beefy’s daughter Becky lives with type 1 diabetes (T1D) herself and Beefy has long been a supporter of T1D research. Beefy joined One Walks in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, walking around 20km all up.
Sir Ian’s presence attracted a lot of media interest, and we also had an ad running on national TV which we hope prompted mainstream awareness of JDRF and T1D.
We were also thrilled to welcome several local MPs to various Walks around the country as well as TV handyman Rob Palmer, who joined us in Perth and Canberra.
The highest fundraising impact was made by Hayley and her team Hayley’s Heroes who banked more than $51,000! Hayley was diagnosed in 2014 and her team has been one of the highest fundraising team for the past two years, raising $40,000 last year.
They were closely followed by the team The Insulin Addicts, who banked more than $21,000. The team is made up of three girls who go to school together and have become friends through having T1D.
Eloise from Melbourne team The Insulin Addicts said, “I was inspired to do JDRF One Walk because as soon as I was diagnosed with T1D my life was turned up-side-down and I would do anything to get rid of it. I also think JDRF is so important because they try their best to make a difference and I wanted to help them.”
The JDRF is so so special to me because they work long and hard every day to try and find a cure when must of them don’t even have type 1!”
Notably, this year was the first year we have included a “virtual” element to One Walk, with the One Walk Step Challenge kicking off on World Diabetes Day. Nearly 1,000 people signed up to take on the challenge of walking 120,000 steps over 12 days, and together they contributed more than $100,000 of the total funds raised. That’s one step for each Australian with T1D. We’ll be looking to make this virtual challenge even better next year, so that anyone can be part of the One Walk movement wherever they’re located.
Where would a One Walk wrap-up be without a HUGE thank you to all of our wonderful Regional Walk Hosts? One Walks outside the metro areas are coordinated and hosted by volunteers within the community. Without these keen supporters, our regional walks would not have been possible.
And of course, thank you to everyone who walked, fundraised, donated and helped spread our message! You’ve all contributed to making this amazing million dollar impact to help turn type one into type none.
We hope to see you all lacing up those walking shoes in 2018!