Walk Team Profile: Team Action Jackson


During the first few months of a type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosis, most families are focused on perfecting carb counting, learning about insulin, and figuring out prescriptions. Laurie Wendell was no exception when her son Jackson was diagnosed in July of 2011 at age 7. But on top learning the ins and outs of this new disease, the family also took part in the 2011 Breakthrough T1D Walk to Cure Diabetes (now known as the Breakthrough T1D OneWalk), less than five months after his diagnosis. “We didn’t know what to expect,” Laurie said, “We just wanted to support Jackson and raise money to fight T1D.

Team Action JacksonNow, four years after Jackson’s initial diagnosis, Team Action Jackson are experts in raising money and walking for T1D. Laurie says creative fundraising ideas were a key to success, and they’re something she would recommend all teams try to come up with. “Last year, Jackson’s dad Marshall said he’d shave his (long) beard and cut his (long) hair if we raised over $3,000.” The enticement was a success, because the team was just shy of reaching $4,000 in total donations, well above their walk goal. She also recommends using social media sites in addition to letters and emails because of their easy access and sharing ability.

Another piece of advice Laurie gives other teams is to explain what the disease is like on a day-to-day basis. “It’s easy to forget about T1D since it’s kind of invisible. We talked about how many finger pokes Jackson has to get a day, how he has to count each carb and get insulin for it, what’s in our diabetes supply cupboard, and what he has to bring to school to care for his T1D there. It really hits home for people who usually wouldn’t think about it.”

But of course, the Breakthrough T1D One Walk itself is always a fun time. “We all look forward to the walk. Our favorite part is that we all get together for the same thing – we’ve all been touched by T1D and we want to find a cure! It’s a time for Jackson’s friends and family to show our support for him, and also a time to connect with other members of the T1D community. The kids have a great time, and it’s fun to wear our team shirts!”

Donate to Team Action Jackson by clicking here, or click here to register your own team for the Breakthrough T1D One Walk on November 14.