Hello from Switch Witch author, Lara Spear Riley. A more personal post today: This past weekend, supporting and walking for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes was amazing for me both professionally and personally. 6 months ago (a year AFTER I wrote Switch Witch), my 4 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Her first morning home from the hospital was Easter, and I suddenly realized very acutely how difficult candy-driven holidays can be for many families – not just those dealing with diabetes, but other situations as well, like allergies. Yes, my daughter can still eat sweets! – but every gram needs to be counted or measured and then matched with artificial insulin. Needless to say, I quickly realized that a huge pile of candy laying around the house after Easter – or Halloween! – was going to be a challenge in ways I had not had to deal with before.
As a result of this huge life change to our family, I have become part of the JDRF “family” – and I have to say that JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) is an AMAZING organization filled with caring, warm, hardworking, and dedicated people. I have had the privilege of working with the New England chapter of JDRF the past 6 months. This past Saturday, we at ‘Switch Witch’ supported the JDRF fundraising efforts by hosting an informational table about Switch Witch at the huge Boston One Walk event. Although it felt like the middle of winter that morning! it was incredible and emotional to be part of an event with 10,000 people (together raising over one million dollars!) – all passionately believing in a world free of type 1 diabetes.
Then on Sunday of this past weekend, I took part in another JDRF fundraising walk on a personal level – with my family and dear friends. To walk the 5K in Lancaster, MA, we joined up with 3,000 other people – and all together we raised over $100,000 to go towards type 1 diabetes research. It was a truly amazing experience for my whole family, but especially for my daughter, to be around so many people whose lives are affected by type 1 diabetes. The sense of community and support was incredible, and it gave me a great deal of hope for the future – for my daughter’s future.