Jenna's team, "The Next Generation"
By JDRF kid reporter Jenna Queenan, 14, Virginia
Thousands of people came together for the 2003 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Washington, D.C., to raise money for diabetes research. Many built their own teams of friends and family members. It was a lot of effort, and on this day all of it paid off.
My Own "Next Generation"Last year, for the first time, I decided to put together my own team for the 2002 Walk. In the beginning, I didn't exactly know the amount of work I was getting myself into. But in the end, it was more than worth it.
With several others, I formed a walk team called "The Next Generation." We sent letters asking for donations and designed a T-shirt for our team to wear on the day of the Walk. About 60 people joined our team for the Walk. The outcome was better than I expected. We raised more than $24,000, and I had a blast walking with my friends and family.
This year, my family and I decided to once again form "The Next Generation" team. About 40 people joined us. My school, in Virginia, provided buses to get us to and from the Walk, making it easier to arrive on time. We joined thousands of others at the Freedom Plaza for a pre-Walk stretch. Then, at 9 a.m., the Walk around the National Mall began.
Waving State FlagsAs well as being part of "The Next Generation" team, I got to know some kids from the 2003 Children's Congress. It was wonderful to see all the children with their families, waving their state flags, and walking together to cure diabetes. The Walk was a great success. Despite the forecast for rain, many people (and several dogs!) walked on family, corporate, and union teams.
Fun FinishLuck was with us. Though we had a cloudy start, it turned out to be a gorgeous day, with sun and blue skies. The Walk route gave us a historic view of Washington, guiding us past the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and several museums, such as the Smithsonian.
We finished the Walk to music by the Australian band Brother. Everyone celebrated their success and hard work. As one walker said, "The Walk makes an impact on people." And it brings us several steps closer to finding a cure!