Friday, June 28, 2013

The "Welcoming" party

The first time I walked for diabetes awareness I received more fanfare than I deserved. The walk began at the steps of Louisville's City Hall. I was given a framed certificate from the mayor.
When I had walked fifty miles I met the Governor of Kentucky on the steps of the State Capitol building. The local media where there for the hand shake.
I received a certificate in a frame.
At eighty miles I was scheduled to meet the Mayor of Lexington.
I walked that morning in a cold sleet that turned to hard rain. The rain did not stop until the middle of the day.
I met the Mayor of Lexington in a park by the City Hall.
I received a certificate.
Upon returning from the 160 mile round trip journey I was met for dinner by my family and the local director of the American Diabetes Association. He had coordinated the meetings, lodging and media.
We were promoting the ADA's annual Alert Week to draw people to free testing locations and events.
It seems I helped. Attendance was up.
His appreciation, meant more to me than any certificate.
Since then I have walked thousands of miles. Began and ended many walks.
It is about getting the word out to walk. The awareness to take charge, control and prevent diabetes.
A few days ago I reached another City Hall.
I was met there by dignitaries of some renown.
There, thankfully , was no fanfare. No certificate of achievement.
Their appreciation was just as satisfying as Governor, Mayor or Senator.
They know the devastations diabetes have wrought on their loved ones.
They appreciated the effort and gave the best reward...
I received a hug, from the heart, at Tampa's City Hall.

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