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A Holiday Update

December 18, 2010

This is the holiday email I sent out to my extended contact list earlier this week. Since then, the donations I have received have gotten me just shy of 3500 dollars. Sending gratitude to everyone who has helped in their own way.

 

Dear friends,

As many of you know, I have been fundraising since November for the Canadian Diabetes Association. My goal is to raise 7000 dollars by July, 2011, which goes towards a fundraising half-marathon I will be running in Iceland next August. I set a personal goal to raise $3200 by Christmas of this year. I am both proud and humbled to announce that I reached that goal early this week.

Each donation has moved me beyond words. I go through the same spectrum of gratitude and excitement every time I receive a notification email from the Diabetes Association announcing another donation. It blows my mind the ways that friends, family, distant acquaintances and even strangers have reached out and supported this cause. The process of publicly advocating for what has so suddenly become my new cause – new identity even – has been an adventure in itself. Your donations have given me enormous strength as I navigate the personal journey of living with this illness, and inspired me to keep working, and running, to improve the lives of my fellow diabetics around the world. (Getting to train for a half-marathon has been pretty awesome too. I enjoyed many many hours of running last month during the stunning fall weather, and feel stronger and healthier than I have in a long time.)

Through campaigning for diabetes, and blogging about my own experiences as a diabetic, I have connected (mostly online) with many other diabetics and caregivers across the globe. Their stories – their losses, hardships, expenses, and often their difficult childhoods which thankfully I was spared – have broadened my understanding of why I am running for diabetes. This global pandemic is not just about me and my lousy pancreas. It’s about the millions of people who lose their lives every year to a disease that is so close to being cured.

No donation has been too small – each one has been meaningful and moving. If you feel inspired to make a donation in my name for my diabetes race, I will naturally be delighted (although please do not feel obliged), and if you know someone living with type-1 or type-2, consider making a donation in their honour as a holiday gift (more information on how to donate to my race is on my blog page). But more than money, what I have sought mainly from this project has been a chance to raise awareness of what this illness is like – the ways it shows mercy, the ways it kicks you in the butt, the ways it can make you laugh, and the ways it quietly takes lives.

I invite you to visit my blog, which has been chronicling both this fundraising campaign and my daily adventures as a type-1 diabetic. Please feel free to read through it, or send it to a friend who is living with or with someone with diabetes. And thank you for following this journey with me. This campaign is proving to be an incredibly empowering and healing experience, and I thank you so much for your support and love.

Wishing you a very peaceful and beautiful holiday season,

Sarah

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