Thursday, October 19, 2006

Walk of Hope 2006

Walk of Hope was held on October 7th, in commemoration of Riley's one year anniversary with D. A few months after he was diagnosed I thought I would just let that time pass with sadness. While I was sad, especially in the days leading up to his anniversary, I decided to do something positive in honor of Riley.

It was held at a local school. I asked to use their football field, but had access to the gym, just in case. The forecast for that Saturday was rain, rain, rain. But, the rain held off. It had rained a lot the day before and the football field was sloshy, so we moved the walk into the gym.

There were not many people that actually came out and walked. It started out with me, Michael, Holden, Riley, my mom, and Holden's girlfriend. Then, a little later my dad showed up. I had a sign up sheet and we took turns walking around the gym in 15 minute increments.

Around 10:00 my preacher and his family arrived. That's when we did the little presentations that I had done. The first presentation was about 5 minutes long and featured facts about Type 1 diabetes. We have Windows Movie Maker on our computer and that is how I made it. Michael borrowed a projector from his school and we showed the presentation on the wall. The background music was "He's My Son" by Mark Schultz.
(you can go here to read the words to this song, but beware, it's a tear-jerker.)

Next, I did my little presentation of "Faces of Hope". I ended up with 13 people participating. I wish I could somehow show it to you. It's saved on my computer. If anyone knows how I could email it to people, let me know. I'm really not very computer literate.

The "Faces of Hope" presentation was about 4 1/2 minutes long. It featured people with Type 1 from all over the US, one from Switzerland, and one from New Zealand. The background music was "Hero" by Mariah Carey.
(You can read the words here.) I did Ok all day until we did the presentation. I stood in the back and cried quietly. Not just for Riley, but for all of the people in the presentation and all of you that weren't.

Then, the walking resumed. My preacher and his family left. Right after they left, a boy in Holden's class, who has D, arrived with his mom and little brother. I showed the presentations again so they could see them.

When the walk was over and all the money was counted, it totaled $2,617.00 ( I have since received more money bringing the grand total to $2,667.00) My goal was $1,000, so I am quite pleased with the end result. I didn't expect to get much money just because I was collecting it all on my own. I had a few people say they would help collect money and then they didn't. Two people, Holden's girlfriend and my preacher's wife, did collect money totaling $60.00. Oh, yeah, and Michael got $27 from people that he works with.

I am not telling you this to brag. I am telling you this to let you know that you can do it too. I look at it this way. I may have not raised a whole lot of money, but if all of us would raise a few thousand here and there just think what we could do.

All of the money raised went to
The Iacocca Foundation. Follow the link and you can donate to this worthwhile cause too. The money that was raised at Walk of Hope went directly to The Nathan-Faustman Project. For those who may not know, Dr. Denise Faustman has cured Type 1 in mice and is now conducting human clinical trials at Mass General Hospital in Boston, MA.

Because the money went to this foundation, Riley was featured in their latest e-newsletter. I can't post a link to it, because it emailed to those who sign up for it. If you would like to sign up for the newsletter, go
here and click on the contact link. Or you can send me your email address and I'll email the October newsletter to you.

I am already looking forward to next year's walk. I kept it small this year, kind of as a test run. But, I plan on it being bigger and better next year. I am even planning on contacting someone who is somewhat of a celebrity. I figure, what the heck. The worst is that he can think I'm a psycho and tell me no. But, he may not. I won't know unless I try.

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures. If you notice, we all match. I had team shirts made. The front left had "Walk of Hope 2006" on it. On the back it said "Walk of Hope 2006, to raise money for a cure for Type 1 diabetes, all proceeds to The Iacocca Foundation Then it had The Beacons of Hope. Under that it listed all of the people or businesses that donated $100 or more.
(note: blogger is not being very nice this morning and is not letting me post my pictures. I will post the pictures at a later date, when blogger decides it will let me.)


Shannon said...

Thank you for doing this :)

Jamie said...

Aw, Penny - you did great!! I thank you, as well, for EVERYTHING you did for this walk.

Hopefully blogger will let you post those pictures soon :)

Thanks again (big hugs).

Anonymous said...

Penny, you are such an inspiration. Thank you from us too. I am glad that it was successful, I think you are on to something that has to grow by pieces or it would be overwhelming. Thanks for sharing this wonderful event with all of us.

Minnesota Nice said...

What a lovely thing to do.
Best wishes.

Scott K. Johnson said...


What an AWESOME job! You raised a BOATLOAD of money considering that you spearheaded the idea and promoted and coordinated it too!

Thank you so much for everything that you did for us, for me. It does matter.

With love,


Penny Ratzlaff said...

To all of you who said "thanks", you're very welcome. Riley was my primary inspiration, but as time went on, I realized it's not just about him. It's about ALL of you and your children, spouses, etc.

Thank you, Scott, for saying it matters to you. That meant a lot. I hope it matters to a lot more people one day, because I hope a cure comes out of Dr. Faustman's research.