Thursday, September 21, 2006

Well, if you got money for yarn, then surely you can find a little extra for this.

I may be the last person to post about this in our little corner of the knitting blogosphere. But if there's a chance that you don't know that Karen G., blogger and graphics designer, is raising money to fight diabetes, then you should. She is participating in the Walk for Diabetes in October with her husband, and you can help by donating here.

I think that Karen is brave for having shared her personal struggle with this disease, but look at what the results have been! Her initial goal of raising $500 has already been surpassed, and now she is well on her way to the $1000 mark.

I'm writing this post not just to help Karen raise money, but also to thank her. In her original post announcing her fundraising drive, she wrote that she doesn't expect a cure to be found in our lifetimes, but that children now who are being diagnosed perhaps have a chance for that cure. Her selflessness continued when I told her that both my parents are diabetic, and she wrote that she would think of them as she walked. I was so incredibly touched by this, that she would offer to keep in mind people she's never even met.

This is a picture of my sweet mom and dad, enjoying the Taste of Chicago festival in Grant Park a couple of years ago. My mom was diagnosed quite a few years ago, and my dad more recently. They've been able to keep good control over their diet and even got a treadmill so that they could take walks even in the dead of winter. Living so far away from them, I worry of course, but feel lucky that they have each other to help stay on track.

This is Gloria Anzaldua, one of our most beloved writers in Chicano studies. She passed away in May 2004 of diabetes-related complications. Her groundbreaking book, Borderlands, gave a voice to populations who feel most marginalized in our society. I spent the last year archiving her papers for the University of Texas, and I can tell you that there are boxes upon boxes of projects she'd been working on, that she never got a chance to finish. She still had years of work she wanted to see through, and she died at the age of sixty-one.

Of course, with treatment, diet, and exercise, chances of survival are excellent. But the outlook would be even better if we were able to find a cure. If you donate through Karen G., she will enter you in a drawing for knitting-related prizes, and you also have the option of buying a sock pattern designed especially for Karen's walk, with the entire proceeds going toward the cause.

In another giving-related note, I blogged recently about donating my hair to Locks of Love, which makes hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children who have medically-related hair loss. Laura wondered if she could donate even if her hair was in layers and/or colored. As long as your hair is in a ponytail of 10" or more and healthy (it can be colored but not damaged), you can donate it. Layers should be separated into their own ponytails.

And, if you go to one of the participating salons listed on their website, you can get the haircut for free! What's not to love about that?


At 3:43 AM, Blogger Laura said...

what a nice post! i was so happy to see a picture of your parents. they are the cutest. i can see both of them in you.

and isn't karen such a sweetie? i can't wait to see how much she raises! and thanks for the tip about locks of love.

At 8:07 AM, Blogger Nancy said...

I'm constantly amazed on how generous the knitting blog comminity is. And what a wonderful cause this is!

Thanks for sharing the picture of sus padres! They look like nice folks!

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12:02 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Oh sweetie, you're making me cry again!! Thank you so much for the wonderful post and for your support of my walk. I love the picture of your cute parents and I'm so glad they have each other to lean on. Hurrah for walking on the treadmill - I try to get on every day too and even just 30 to 45 minutes is SO beneficial. I'm happy to say, between the pledges on my page and the sock proceeds Chrissy will be donating, I have passed the $1000 mark!!! I'm stunned and so grateful to everyone.

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Kodachrome Knits said...

This is a great post, Olga. How thoughtful, moving, & inspiring, and I love the photograph of your folks.

Thanks also for the heads up about Karen's site and her donation page. My mom was diagnosed with diabetes ten years ago, and while diet, exercise, and information has helped her a lot, much more research and knowledge is definitely needed about this disease which is increasingly affecting so many of us and our families.

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous ana said...

Hi, I just came across your blog from A Strikke. I was so delighted and yet very saddened to hear that Gloria Anzaldua had passed away. My degree is in Chicano Studies (U of MN) and I remember reading her in a couple of my classes many years ago.

Also, thanks for posting about the fight against diabetes. It's something that runs in my family (father, grandmothers, sister) and which I try hard to avoid developing. Of course, I can't fight genetics, so I may some day have to face it.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger jennifer said...

i love that pic of your parents with the chicago skyline in the background. they look great!


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