{Grassroots} Miles of Hope

by Leighann on September 9, 2011

I have been so impressed and inspired by people affected by diabetes who take it upon themselves to raise money and awareness. And I’m not talking about signing up for a local walk (though that’s admirable too). I’m talking people who organize golf tournaments, train to ride 100 miles, donate profits of items they’ve created, and organize their own walks. I’d like to highlight some of these crusaders in a new feature I’m calling: Grassroots.

The first event I am highlighting is Miles of Hope. Organizer Kelly was gracious enough to let us know about their upcoming walk, what inspired this group of parents, and who the proceeds will benefit.

You can learn more by visiting the Miles of Hope website.

Miles of Hope Walk

What inspired you to begin this fundraiser?

Miles of Hope was inspired by the children of our community living with type 1 diabetes, and the desire we have as parents to find a cure for our children.

My 7-year-old daughter Leah was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a few weeks before her 5th birthday. Over the past few years, we have gotten to know over a dozen kids and their families in our small community who also live with type 1 diabetes. The support we give each other has been invaluable and makes living with type 1 a little more bearable.

Tell me more about the fundraiser.

In the past we have all participated in separate fundraisers to raise money for diabetes. This year we have decided to combine efforts and host our own event to raise awareness and support cure based research for our kids.

Miles of Hope is a local and virtual walk supporting the work of Dr. Denise Faustman at Massachussetts General Hospital.

The local event is a family-friendly 2 mile walk at a local forest preserve, followed by music, food, and raffle items.

100% of participant donations and money raised through raffle ticket sales will go directly to the Faustman Lab!

Can people participate even if they aren’t in your location?

Yes! One of the exciting aspects of Miles of Hope is our virtual event. We want anyone and everyone to be able to participate, no matter where you are located.

By registering for the virtual event and donating, you can pick your activity (walk, run, biking, etc.) and dedicate your time that day to our cause.

We encourage virtual participants to tell us how you participated and/or send us a picture of your virtual event. You can do this through our facebook page or email at milesofhopetype1 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Miles of HopeWhy did you choose this charity to be the recipient of your fundraising efforts?

I read about Dr. Faustman’s research shortly after Leah’s diagnosis. I was definitely intrigued by her initial research for type 1 diabetes and it’s success, and attracted to the focus it had on curing the disease.

After reading about Dr. Faustman’s successful Phase I human trial results this summer (in which her treatment resulted in the killing of t-cells in the pancreas and some insulin production to re-occur in type 1 diabetic patients), I was optimistic that this could be a cure our children might see in their lifetime. I knew right away that I wanted to do what I could to raise money for her Phase II clinical trial.

Many of us involved in Miles of Hope support all diabetes based non-profit organizations for the support, education, and activities they offer in our kids’ lives.

This year, we are excited to be funding cure based research that will  bring us one step closer to our children living a life without diabetes!

What is the best way to sign up and donate?

You can easily register for Miles of Hope by visiting our website and filling out the registration form.  Choose whether you will be attending the local walk, will be participating virtually, or donating only.

Simply follow the donation link to securely donate online, or follow the instructions for donating by check to make your contribution!

What is the deadline for donations and how can people contribute?

The event itself is October 22, 2011. Miles of Hope is dedicated to raising funds that go directly to cure based research. The best way to do that is through your tax-deductible donation directly to the Faustman Lab. We appreciate your individual donation, and also encourage you to fundraise on your own to individuals or businesses that might be interested in donating. Donations can be made online through our secure site. Checks may be mailed to the address provided on the website or brought to the local event.

A raffle will be held at the local event to raise additional funds. If you own a business and would like to contribute an item or have a contact to someone who might be interested, we will be accepting raffle items until September 22, 2011. Please contact us by email at milesofhopetype1 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Kelly adds:

As parents of children with type 1 diabetes, we’re thrilled to be making a difference through a positive, fun event.

We’re excited to show strength in numbers and the huge impact a local and virtual event can make. Our efforts will add up to many, many miles of awareness, support, and HOPE!!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly September 9, 2011 at 7:16 am

Thank you Leighann!! We’re so excited about the progress we’ve made for our event and the donations that are coming in. Thanks for helping is get the word out!


2 Heidi September 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm

This is great, and I really like the idea of the Grassroots series. 🙂


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