JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes Organizer Opens Up About Disease

By Staci DaSilva | sdasilva@nexstar.tv

Published 05/15 2014 09:45AM

Updated 05/15 2014 09:47AM


On Sunday, hundreds will walk to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Organizers are hoping to beat last year's $160,000 in fundraising.

The JDRF Walk To Cure Diabetes takes place at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg at 10 am on Sunday.

The disease hits close to home for the Walk's organizer.

Here's her story:

Martha Bloom's garage in Colchester has become headquarters for this year's Walk to Cure Diabetes in Vermont.

“I've been getting the T-shirts ready,” said Martha, holding up this year’s Walk T-shirts.

But it's more than just a walk for Martha, it's a reminder of what her family has been through.

“My 13-year old was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 7. So this will be our 7th walk,” explained Bloom.

Martha is mother to 3 girls: Amanda, Emily and Isabel. Amanda, who's now a strong, active teenager, was abnormally thirsty, hungry and constantly needing to use the bathroom before her diagnosis.

“It's an autoimmune disease,” said Bloom. “She did nothing to get it. It was just somehow triggered and her pancreas stopped making insulin."

So, over the years, Amanda and her family have learned how to handle it.

“She requires insulin for everything she eats. So, it's a lot of math. You have to calculate how much insulin she needs. And it's based on carbohydrates,” said Bloom.

Amanda checks her blood sugar 10-12 times a day and has an insulin pump by her side at all times.

“We don't want diabetes to define who she is. So it's never held her back,” said Bloom.

But in a way, it has defined Martha. Not only does she help her daughter deal with diabetes, but she now works for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or JDRF as Vermont's Development Coordinator.

And Sunday's Walk is her biggest event of the year.

“Anybody who has this life-altering event happen to their kids would do anything to make their lives better,” said Bloom.

80% of proceeds go towards research to find a cure and improve treatment. Bloom says last year, the walk raised $160,000 with over 650 walkers. This year, Martha's hoping to beat both of those numbers.

“It's a great day to come together and recognize the kids who live with this 24/7,” said Bloom.

ABC22/FOX44 is a proud sponsor of the Walk To Cure Diabetes. Our own Lauren Maloney will be MC’ing the event and we have a team walking.

To donate to our team, visit: http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR/Walk/Branch-NorthernNewEngland4366?team_id=153044&pg=team&fr_id=3344

Registration is at 9am at CVU High School in Hinesburg. Walk starts at 10am.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.