"Race for a Reason"

The Problem

With around 21 million people in the United States undergoing the daily challenges of diabetes, this is becoming a more common disease every day. Seven percent of our population has diabetes. Among those seven percent are my father and brother, both of which have been diagnosed with type one diabetes for years. For that reason, this has been a challenge I have witnessed. After attending The Walk to Cure Diabetes for nine years, this has opened my eyes to how many other community members struggle with the exact same scenario. With this figure only expected to rise, this is something concerning more and more members of our communities. This disease affects people of all ages, races, and all origins. No one is safe from the risk of diabetes, and very few families are unaffected by its many complications. Since there is yet a cure for diabetes, which is the ultimate goal, other precautions have to be taken. Raising awareness and helping those who are afflicted with diabetes are keys in helping those who are learning to succumb to the disease. Therefore, we must pull together to raise awareness and fight for a cure. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) are two organizations at the forefront of the fight against diabetes. The sole mission of the JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications. My family and I are fully committed to this cause and this organization. We encourage others with the same concerns and objectives to become involved as well. Together, we can make a difference!

Plan of Action

For my independent study I chose to go above and beyond all expectations. Some of my fellow peers learned how to give massages, make smoothies, or research on a topic of interest. I knew I wanted my project to be more. I devoted so much time and effort into making it a success. It’s been something that I’ve been proud to call my own. From accumulating over twenty-five community sponsors to writing over fifty thank you notes, I feel I went above and beyond. By no means did I have to, but I truly wanted to. This is a project that has meant so much to me and this drive pushed me further than I could have even imagined. If anyone would have told me I was going to organize an entire race, let alone raise $4,000, I would have thought they were crazy. Some of the numerous tasks included: concessions, designing and selling t-shirts, the bake sale, all the raffles and prizes, organizing everything for the actual race, making signs, phone calls, countless emails, and meetings with school administrators. This project was quite an undertaking but once I started, I never looked back. A quote by Ben Sweetland has it right in saying, "Success is a journey, not a destination." From this project, I have definitely learned that. It was a journey in which all my hard work paid off. I had a lot of fun throughout all this too. In life, what you get out of things is what you put in. I can honestly say I put a lot into this, and I gained more than I could have ever imagined. At the end of the day, I felt I had made a positive impact in both my community and society.

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