Thousands walk to raise money for diabetes research

TED BORDELON / WIRE PHOTO Area residents helped raise approximately $275,000 during a fundraiser on Oct. 27. The money will be used for Type 1 juvenile diabetes research.

More than 3,000 area residents gathered at the campus of Bucks County Community College in Newtown on Oct. 27 to raise money for Type 1 juvenile diabetes research. The event was organized by a local chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the leading global funder of Type 1 diabetes research.

“This walk really means hope for Type 1 diabetes research,” Michelle Dorfman, an organizer and board member of the Eastern PA chapter of JDRF, said.

Dorfman began chairing the walk nine years ago after her daughter, Lauren, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

“JDRF’s mission is to encourage treatment, prevention and a cure,” Dorfman said, noting that the walk raised approximately $275,000 for research.

Parents Mindy and Frank DeSimone, both Horsham residents, organized a team of walkers to honor their 4-year-old son Dominic, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on March 23.

Mindy DeSimone said learning her son’s diagnosis was “heartbreaking,” but that the walk made her feel like her family wasn’t alone.

“Everyone has something in common here,” DeSimone said. “Seeing all of these people come out for Dominic was amazing.”

“Before we knew it, it just blew up,” Frank DeSimone added. He also noted that he and his wife reached out to family and friends, both old and new, and that the turnout for their team, “Dominic’s Dynasty,” was much greater than they’d expected.

For information about JDRF’s mission, visit JDRF.org.

Ted Bordelon