By Christina Mitine, Oracle
The JDRF One Walk Silicon Valley 2019, recently hosted at Great America in Santa Clara, brought together participants who walked for a world without Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Team Oracle had more 500 walkers registered, echoing Oracle’s status as the 2019 Hero Sponsor with a donation of $100K.
In an email inviting Oracle employees to participate in the walks, Edward Screven, chief corporate architect at Oracle, said, “When you have T1D, your body stops producing insulin, a hormone essential to turning food into energy. Managing the disease is a constant struggle that involves monitoring your blood-sugar level, administering insulin, and carefully balancing these insulin doses with your eating and activity just to stay alive. With T1D there are no days off and there is no cure. But there is hope...the inspiration and fun you experience on walk day will stick with you, and the pride you can take for your role will last a lifetime.”
All attendees received a JDRF One Walk t-shirt and a ticket to enjoy the park after the walk. Coworkers, families, and friends were directed to the One Walk village to enjoy live music by Hoopty, performances by dancers and cheerleaders, kid’s activities, and more. T1D research experts and advocacy ambassadors at the JDRF Mission and Research Tents shared information about prevention. For example, I learned that there are currently more than 110 active JDRF research projects underway with over $118M invested in diabetes prevention research.
At the Oracle Meetup Zone, employees gathered with family members and friends. Oracle team members received customized Oracle-JDRF branded hats to wear along with their JDRF shirts and posed for a group photo. Kevin O’Scanlon, development director for JDRF, then kicked off the event, shouting “Type One,” as the audience in return exclaimed, “Type None!”
Nicole Friedland, executive director for JDRF Greater Bay Area Chapter, asked the youth ambassadors, who are raising awareness for T1D, funding, and research, to come onto the stage. She reinforced the JDRF mission: “to improve lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure and prevent T1D.” She also shared that “there are over $17 million in active grants via vendors” as well as announced the launch of the JDRF Center of Excellence at UCSF and Stanford.
From the stage, Edward Screven shared the story of his son Thomas who was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of four. In the last twelve years, Thomas has faced “a lot of challenges with being Type 1 but has found an amazing community through JDRF.” Screven and Oracle team captain Bonnie Carlson, a program manager for executive sponsorship, worked with Oracle Social and Oracle Volunteering to mobilize colleagues and their families to participate in the walk. Before he stepped off stage, Screven said, “Thank you to everyone who has come out to support JDRF, the most important mechanism for research funding for T1D. With the right tools, brilliant scientists, and engineers will find a cure for diabetes over time.”
Carlson and daughter Marina, Thomas Screven, and Junior Wright, the son of Oracle employee Jim Wright, were the three Team Oracle Type 1 Diabetes Honorees who cut the ribbon to initiate the walk, a 1-mile loop through the park.
It was truly amazing to be among the sea of people who were all walking to raise awareness of Type 1 and help JDRF find a cure.
Later in October, Oracle employees rallied their friends and families to walk in JDRF One Walks in San Ramon and San Francisco. In total, more than 400 employees participated in the walks raising more than $137,000 for JDRF.