You never know when or where you’re going to make a diabetes connection. But when it happens, the immediate shared understanding between you and a perfect stranger can be a wonderful feeling.
My most recent “diabetes in the wild” experience occurred at a local brewery in my hometown. One evening, my dad and I stopped in to sample some beers. An hour later as we were leaving, the man behind the bar noticed the CGM sensor on the back of my arm. He asked if it was a Dexcom sensor, and I understood instantly that he “knew”.
We talked about our personal experiences with diabetes for a few minutes before he grabbed a flier on the counter to show us. He explained that his wife, Kelly, was running a race in Falmouth, Massachusetts as a member of Team Joslin to show support for her son and father, both of whom have Type 1 diabetes. I was very interested in hearing more about the race and Kelly’s perspective, so I reached out to her. She was happy to share her story, and the love she has for both her father and son shone through. I wish Kelly the best of luck next month at the race!
Could you tell me a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Worcester, MA where I still currently reside. I am a Registered Nurse on a kidney/liver/pancreas floor at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester, MA.
What is your connection to the diabetes community?
My father was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes before he was 3 years old. My son was diagnosed with Type 1 at 18 months, on August 9, 2012.
What is the Falmouth Road Race? When and where does it take place?
Falmouth Road Race, Inc. is committed to supporting and promoting local organizations with specific focus on youth athletics and programming that promotes health and wellness. These efforts are realized by consistent community involvement and ongoing philanthropic endeavors including donations, scholarships, grants, and sponsorships. Its annual, internationally recognized 7-mile road race features an iconic seaside course enjoyed by elite and recreational runners since 1973. It takes place on August 21 at 9 A.M. in Falmouth Cape Cod.
Have you competed in races like this before?
This is my first road race to raise money for diabetes awareness.
How are you preparing for this race?
I have been running for 1.5 years now to train for this event. I run 2-3 times per week, 10-12 miles a week. One day a week I run at least 5-6 miles.
You’re running for Team Joslin—who else is on the team? How is it coordinated/organized?
Team Joslin is a group of generous and dedicated individuals from all over the world who participate in athletic events to raise funds for Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, MA. The funds raised through these events contribute to Joslin’s mission to prevent, treat and cure diabetes through cutting-edge research, comprehensive patient care and pioneering education programs. You can learn more about the Team Joslin program by visiting Giving.Joslin.org/TeamJoslin.
My donation page can be found at firstgiving.com/fundraiser/kelly-donahue-6/2016-falmouth-road-race. You can learn more about the other members of the team by visiting our team page.
What do you hope to accomplish by running this race?
I hope to finish the race in under an hour. I hope to raise $5,000 for diabetes research.
How can readers support you in the span of time leading up to the race?
Any donations are greatly appreciated and can be made online here. The funds raised by Team Joslin go to the High Hopes Fund. This fund supports the greatest needs of Joslin. Their vision is a world free of diabetes and its complications.