20 Nov

JDRF Fun Day

Last week my kids and I participated in a Fun Day to benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In previous years we’ve joined the official Honolulu Walk at Kapiolani Park. This year, our fearless Team Taylor Kickin’ Diabetes leader organized a Fun Day for family and friends at our local Community Center.

We kicked off the day with a fun jump rope demonstration,

and then walked around our park.

Since a big part of the group was the Oahu Taekwondo family, a group of kids working towards their Black Belts had to run two miles, timed, as part of their qualification.

Oh, these aren’t the blackbelts — they’re a group of guys that like to dress up for charity events. For those not in the know, on this day they were soldiers from the video game Halo.

Afterward, we ate a yummy lunch (with adorable logo cupcakes) and were entertained by guitarist, Kamuela, and then a family band who dusted off some oldies.

All in all it was a great day, and raised a good amount of money for the cause. Even from our back row seats, it’s obvious that life with Type 1 Diabetes is not easy for Taylor, or her family. Lots of missed days at school, visits to the hospital, and a restricted diet — not to mention all the needles! The insulin pump is a great help, but even more can be done and JDRF is leading the way. Thank you Team TKD!

Fabric Postcards

And THANK YOU to my friends and family who donated. As promised, these fabric postcards are on their way right now. (Kim, you might recognize an abandoned project in these!)

12 Oct

Let’s Kick Juvenile Diabetes!

For the last two years our family has joined our friend and neighbor’s fundraising team in the annual JDRF walk to raise money to help find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes. Our friend Taylor is an energetic, adorable, 11 year old, who was diagnosed about 3 years ago with Type 1 Diabetes. That’s not the one where your insulin system gets out of whack because of poor diet or other outside influences; Type 1 is a disorder of the body’s immune system and the body basically stops making insulin. Although it seems everything in her routine has changed, Taylor and her family work hard every day to allow her to have the most normal life possible. Advances in medicine like the insulin pump make Taylor’s (and many other kids with juvenile diabetes’) lives easier. Hopefully, with the help of organizations like the Juvenile Diabetes research Foundation (JDRF) even more breakthroughs can be made and eventually a cure can be found.

This year, we are doing something a little different.  Team Taylor Kickin’ Diabetes (TKD) will have our own Fun Day on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at the Royal Kunia Community Center.  This is a private event for our team.  All monies raised will benefit JDRF. The total event goal is to raise $20,000.

Team Taylor Kicking Diabetes and I would love any little bit of support. Like previous years, to sweeten the deal, I’ll send a fabric postcard to anyone who makes a donation via my page. Last year it was rooted houses. I’m not sure what I’ll make this year. I’m feeling a bit floral though…

Kristin’s JDRF Fundraising Page

Many thanks, or, as they say here in Hawaii, Mahalo nui loa!

21 Oct

Time is Running Out

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These are the postcards I’ve made as incentive for my readers (that’s you guys!) to donate to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Seven of these lovelies already have homes — that’s a big mahalo (thank you) to Natalya, Connie, Doreen, Stephanie, Del, Diane, and Debra!

The fundraiser goes until November 6th, so if you want one of these postcards, go to the JDRF tab on my Facebook page, or directly to my walker page here and make a donation as small or large as you want. And no worries if a bunch of people donate — I’l happily make more cards! It’s that good of a cause.

These are titled “Taylor’s House,” not because the house looks like my neighbor Taylor’s (though her house does have a lanai out back like the one on the cards), but because these houses are in honor of Taylor and her learning to live a full and happy life even with Type 1 Diabetes. These houses also reflect the red dirt and drier landscape of the central Oahu area in which we live, though in real life, our houses are much closer together. I’ve made them with alternating fabric, stitch, and paint, so there’s a nice atmospheric quality and they really are little tiny pieces of art.

**Thank you so much to all those who have donated so far! I will indeed need to make a second batch of postcards. I also need street addresses for a few of you — I’ve been sending a thank you email through the JDRF site but I think it may have ended up in a few junk folders (Nancy and Connie, please email me privately or leave a comment here (without your addresses) so I can email you directly).

09 Oct

Taylor Kickin’ Diabetes

Taylor is our neighbor. She’s ten years old, one of my daughter’s best friends, a red belt in taekwondo, a gifted student, a typical little sister, and a kid with Type 1 diabetes (read about the differences between type 1 and type 2 here). Taylor was diagnosed two years ago and has since had to be vigilant about what she eats, had to deal with odd secondary effects of the disease, check her blood sugar levels day and night, and inject insulin on a regular basis. It wasn’t long before her family invested in an insulin pump which means no more injections, but she still has to monitor her blood and input carb levels so the pump knows how much insulin to give. Her life has changed forever, but with supportive family, school and friends, she is able to be, at least outwardly, a pretty normal pre-teen. Organizations like Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation have been an invaluable resource for Taylor and her family as well as for the millions of other kids with Type 1 diabetes. It is research such as that funded by JDRF that has resulted in treatments like the pump which help make life more normal for affected kids.

Last year Taylor rallied friends and family and her taekwondo school to become the largest group of walkers at the Honolulu JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, and to raise over $8000. The ohana (family) would like to exceed their record this year, so I invite you to help me support Team Taylor Kickin’ Diabetes by donating before November 6th. Even the smallest amount counts. AND, like last year, to sweeten the deal, I’ll send a fabric postcard to anyone who contributes! (Last year was mostly landscapes, so I’m thinking rooted houses this year — feel free to weigh in in the comments.)

Heart House III 5"x7"

You may donate at my Walker Page (www.JDRF.org and type my name and Hawaii for the state in the Search for a Walker sidebar) or via my Facebook page (look for the Support JDRF tab).

Mahalo for your support!

15 Nov

JDRF Walk

Saturday was the big walk to raise funds for research to cure juvenile diabetes. Team Taylor Kickin’ Diabetes was the largest there and raised over $8000! We didn’t all walk together though — which made for a less impressive mass of people, but worked great to keep track of all the kids. Pretty much any kid in a grey shirt was herded along by any teen or adult in a grey shirt, from the front of the pack to the tail end.

jdrf-walk

Most of my pictures were of all the kids — warming up together, taking over the bouncy castle, huddled under an umbrella once the rain had started. Yeah, rain. Lots of it! Luckily, the walking part was over by that time, and luckily, our fearless leaders sprang for the ginormous tent. But no good pictures to share.

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There was however, awesome balloon artists at the event. So awesome that the kids stood in line in pouring rain to get a creation. Above is my son’s gecko — with leash so it could walk on ceilings like a real gecko. Below is a dragonfly with a super twisty body,

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We’re still not sure what’s up with the “angry eyes” though.

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