Miss A Columnist

As a 4-year Leukemia survivor, Stacey Mertes is heavily involved in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the American Diabetes Association. Her 7-year-old son, Logan, is a recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetic, but keeps Stacey on her toes with his own active fundraising endeavors such as the Columbia Tower climb (for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), WaMu stair climb (for Cystic Fibrosis), and several triathlons and other stair climbs around the city. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, Stacey has lived in many of the local neighborhoods (including spending 11 years next to the Pike Place Market), since graduating from the University of Washington. She finally settled down in the most diverse zip code in the country, Columbia City, where she enjoys walks to the many restaurants, farmers market, and art events nearby. Her favorite hobby of late is finding the most fun “free” things to do around Seattle with her son. She loves movies, plays, visiting the Pacific Science Center and other museums, and finding those geocaching adventures.

National Diabetes Awareness Month Events in Seattle

Type 1 Diabetes affects 3 million children and adults (Photo credit: Stacey Mertes)

Of the 25.8 million people with diabetes in this country, 12.6 million are women. Every day, 80 people, mostly children, are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country. Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes (Type 1 or 2) and recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes®.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a time to rally individuals, communities and families to take action, raise awareness, and find a cure for diabetes.

My 7-year-old son was diagnosed this year with Type 1 diabetes, so this month is special for us. It gives my son hope that people are taking the time to do something, even something small, that may help eliminate his 6-7 shots a day he takes, and up to 10 finger pricks a day. He gives himself these shots and finger pricks without complaint and without sadness. But it is the simple things that make him sad, such as having to sit out of PE on some days because his blood glucose is too low to participate at that time, or going to bed with the worry that he may not wake up because blood sugars can plummet at night as he sleeps. He is convinced that there will be a cure, and if not soon, then he will find one someday.

Pacific Science Center Blue Arches

Pacific Science Center Celebrates National Diabetes Day dressed in blue (Photo credit: JDRF)

There are a number of ways to help raise awareness and raise money for a cure this month as sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), who focuses on Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes awareness, camps, education, support, and research, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), who focuses on education and research to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

Last year, over 900 monuments worldwide were lit blue for World Diabetes Day. And on Monday evening, November 14, Seattle’s Pacific Science Center will light its arches blue in honor of World Diabetes Day. Wear blue in support of this day and take the opportunity to educate friends, family, and co-workers about diabetes, symptoms, and prevention.

Simple Things to Do in November to Support Diabetes Mission

  • Wear blue on Monday, November 14 for World Diabetes Day.
  • Purchase a pin-up for $1 at your local Walgreens to Stop Diabetes.
  • Build a bear at Build-a-Bear Workshop and donate $1 at check out to help support JDRF. Last year, this simple act raised over $150,000.
  • Use your Discover card. Every time you use your Discover card, the company will match 2% of all donations through January 31, 2012. And that’s in addition to the cash-back bonus you already earn every time you use your card!
  • Sign this petition to the FDA to prevent further delays in a life-saving technology for insulin-dependent diabetics, a precursor to an artificial pancreas.
  • Dine at Joeseppi’s Italian Ristorante in Tacoma on November 15, 2011 between 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
    • 2207 North Pearl St.
      Tacoma, Washington 98406
      Tel: (253) 761-5555
  • Take action by taking the American Diabetes Month pledge on Facebook.
  • Purchase holiday gifts at Stop Diabetes www.stopdiabetes.com
  • Shop Tommy Hilfiger Specialty Store or Company Store (outlet). During the month of November, Tommy Hilfiger will donate a percentage of all sales to JDRF.


World Diabetes Day Ride (Photo credit: JDRF)

World Diabetes Day Bicycle Ride


Sponsored by JDRF, participants can ride together and help raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes. It is a free, family-friendly bicycle ride that has two routes – one longer, brisk-paced ride (about 20 miles one way) and the other a casual pace (about 14 miles round trip.) The brisk-paced ride is lead by USA Certified cycling coach and Type 1 diabetic, David Nestvold. To participate, children must be accompanied by an adult and know how to ride on streets. After the ride, join the teams for a post-ride gathering at Hale’s Brewery.

This is not a fundraiser, but rather a way to show support and raise awareness for those living with Type 1 diabetes. This ride is also a great precursor for the fundraisers around the country, Ride for a Cure, in Tucson, Arizona from November 17 to November 20. There are various fundraising packages starting at $2000, where depending on how much you raise, you can have all expenses paid including airfare, bike shipment, and hotel to the event.

WHEN: Saturday, November 12, 2011.

  • For the longer, brisk-paced ride, begin at Starbuck’s off of I-405, Exit 7, at 8:00 a.m.
  • For the family-friendly ride, begin at Seattle’s Hales Brewery parking lot at 10:00 a.m.


Starbucks off of I-405, Exit 7, next to McDonalds.

Hales Brewery

4301 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 782-0737

REGISTER: RSVP to Jeremy to receive a free JDRF banner for your bike. For more information, go to JDRF Northwest Chapter.

COST: Free

Seattle Multisport

Seattle Multisport Training Center (Photo credit: Seattle Multisport Training Center)

JDRF’s Winter Training Series Indoor Time Trials

Bring your bikes and set up for an exciting indoor race. Race against seven other riders on computerized indoor trainers on your own bike. The event begins with the racers starting with a 30-minute warm up followed by a rolling 10km course. No experience necessary. All proceeds go to JDRF.

WHEN: Sunday, November 13, 2011, starting at 8:00 a.m.
WHERE: Seattle Multisport Training Center

4333 Fremont Ave
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 730-1192

COST: Entry fee $15 per person, series awards and prizes available in each category. All proceeds go to JDRF.

REGISTER: Register to participate.

Gingerbread Village
Seattle Sheraton Hotel Gingerbread Village

Seattle Sheraton Hotel Gingerbread Village (Photo credit: Sheraton Hotel)

For the 19th season, the Gingerbread Village has become one of the holiday tradition must-sees. Architects from around the city join forces with the Sheraton’s culinary experts and donate their time to create creative and elaborate gingerbread designs. This year’s theme is Holiday Express, displaying railways from around the world, of course, ending in the ultimate railway to the North Pole.

WHEN: November 25, 2011 – January 1, 2012

WHERE: Seattle Sheraton Hotel lobby

1400 Sixth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 621-9000

COST: Free. Donations encouraged. All proceeds benefit JDRF Northwest Chapter.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: You and your family can also volunteer at this annual holiday tradition. Greet and thank visitors, encourage donations, and share information about JDRF and type 1 diabetes. Contact JDRF for more information.

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