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Team Elise Walks to Cure Diabetes in Portugal!

June 30, 2011

We are very excited to share this post from Joanne Cunha and her blog, Death of a Pancreas. What an amazing and inspirational story of how a friend of the Cunha Family organized and conducted a Walk in Portugal in support of the Cunha’s sweet daughter Elise! We have included Joanne’s post below about this wonderful experience or you can also view the article. On behalf of everyone here at the JDRF Greater Dallas Chapter, we would like to give a very special thanks to Tiago for all of his hard work in organizing this successful and outstanding Walk! His dedication and commitment to supporting the Cunha family in finding a cure and making more research possible is truly inspirational!

Team Elise – Portugal style! 

I wanted my first post about Portugal on here to be this one, because it was undoubtedly the coolest. Let me give you a little background…

We have this friend, Tiago. Fred met him in NYC, and he has since moved back to Portugal. Last year, he organized a walk the coincided with the one here in Dallas.

This year, since we were going to be in Portugal, he planned it during our trip. When I say HE planned it, that’s exactly what I mean… Tiago was pretty much a one-man walk-planning committee. It was not put on by the JDRF, or any other diabetes group. It was started and run by Tiago. I think he had some help, but there were times when Fred would be on the phone with Tiago, discussing walk things at 10:00 pm our time (4:00 am in Portugal).

The end result was a fantastic walk, complete with shirts, sponsors, and almost 200 people walking. I cannot believe that so many people, most of which have no connection to Elise or diabetes, would come out and walk to show support. I think it really speaks to the generosity of the Portuguese spirit. I don’t have the final numbers on what was raised, but Tiago thinks it could be over $2000 Euro (almost $2900 USD).

Many of the people were return walkers from last year and were so excited to meet Elise. Some even wanted to have their picture taken with Elise!

One of the best parts was meeting Laurinda. She is a Portuguese D-Mom that has a 11 year old daughter, Clara, with type 1. She and her family made the 3 hour drive to be a part of the walk. And like all Portuguese people, she showed up bearing gifts for the kids and some yummy Portuguese pastries too!

I wish we had had more time to spend together. Laurinda was so great to talk to, and I felt connected to her right away, even though we had just met. It just shows you how D links us together, despite being from different countries, continents, and cultures.

You can check out more pictures from this wonderful event on Joanne’s blog.

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To learn more about the JDRF Dallas chapter, visit our JDRF Dallas website!

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