This time of year, there are many events and activities seeking our participation to advance an important cause.
What makes people want to get involved? If you ask folks at Michigan Medicine, it often comes down to wanting to make a difference.
Colleagues across campus have been leading various efforts to raise funds and raise awareness. Some get involved because they, or a person that they love, have a chronic or acute condition. Others are motivated by the opportunity to play a part in funding efforts that advance medical research and breakthroughs; ultimately providing new treatment options to patients.
This year, the U-M Caswell Diabetes Institute (CDI) participated for the first time in the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure bike ride, which raises funds to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected.
Many participants ride in support of family members or loved ones. Team co-captain Molly Dwyer-White, CDI managing director, was there riding for her father, aunt, and friends – all impacted by diabetes and its complications. “It feels good knowing that there is something tangible that I can do to help celebrate and support the people that I love that live with this disease – and this sort of funding often brings new ideas and treatment options into reality,” Dwyer-White said. “Plus, it is really heartwarming to bring friends and colleagues into the sheer fun of these events!”
The U-M CDI team included colleagues Michele Carney, M.D., clinical associate professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, whom Molly met when riding with the U-M Mott Make-A-Wish Wish-A-Mile bicycle tour. That team has been helping to make life-changing wishes come true for kids at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and across Michigan for decades.
When asked why she is so dedicated to this team and cause, team captain Chrysta Lienczewski – a project manager in nephrology – shared, “It’s all about the kids – we really create a family of riders on our team, and I’m really proud of the support they provide each other both on the ride and outside of WAM. They all have their hearts with the kids in mind, and they are just a great group of individuals I’m happy to call our WAM Fam.”
Emily Roberts, Ph.D., from the Department of Biostatistics in the U-M School of Public Health, was selected as one of nearly 50 type 1 diabetics to participate in the Beyond Type One charity team running in the NYC marathon in 2022. Roberts and her teammate run to increase awareness of type one diabetes and fundraise to support the diabetes community.
In accomplishing the incredible goal of running 26.2 miles, Emily shared, “It was a challenging and emotional experience running and crossing the finish line, but I was proud to know I accomplished my goal. I’m grateful I got to share the experience with so many other type one diabetes rockstars!”
And Julie Brabbs, chief administrative officer and associate director for administration at the Rogel Cancer Center, recently participated in Swim Across America, raising money to fight cancer. Brabbs shared that the funds from last year were given to one of U-M’s young investigators conducting research to treat patients with lung cancer, and will make an impact in the fight to find a cure.
This year’s event raised over $100k which will impact patients and families served by U-M. Many charities rely on communities gathering to raise funds, so getting involved is not only a great way to meet people and have fun, but it can also raise awareness for an important cause while meeting some incredible fitness goals!
Upcoming opportunities to get involved are popping up-including the JDRF One Walk. The U-M Caswell Diabetes Institute team includes U-M staff, faculty, learners, patients, families, and friends – all joining together on Oct. 8 for a short walk that brings people together in the spirit of supporting loved ones with diabetes and raising funds for scientific advances being turned into therapies as quickly as possible.