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Team Ryder

Team Ryder—Denver, CO Step Out to Fight Diabetes

Susie Vigil's passionate approach to the fight against diabetes stems from the impact it had on her family, especially her mother, Sevie Salazar, who suffered from complications of type 2 diabetes for approximately 10 years—and possibly even longer without knowing it.

Growing up, Susie and her family didn't know much about diabetes. She knew her Aunt Ramona suffered from type 2 diabetes, but her family was not aware of its potential negative side effects. "Back then, no one talked about diabetes," said Susie.

Diabetes continued to cause Susie's family to suffer—the disease resulted in the loss of both her mother and her aunt. In addition, her Uncle Amador currently faces painful complications in his battle with type 2. Through her personal experiences, Susie has grown to recognize the complications of diabetes and how they can affect the strength and spirit of an otherwise healthy person. It was these experiences that inspired Susie to take action and to do her part to defeat diabetes.

Susie found a great resource in the American Diabetes Association when she stumbled across a walk brochure in a local restaurant more than five years ago. That same afternoon, she went back to her workplace, Ryder Transportation Services, and approached the director about forming a team. She was pleased with the receptivity of the company and her co-workers. That same year she led her team to raise nearly $5,000 in the Denver, Colorado walk.

Since 2002, Team Ryder's success has only grown. Last year, they raised $12,525. Susie attributes her team's growth in fund raising to the steady generosity of her contributors. "People keep giving, year after year," she said. "And the number of people who donate continues to grow."

Susie knows that times have changed and that people are now more aware of the complications of diabetes. "There is more information today and people are realizing the devastating impact it can have on their health," she said. However, she knows it is not enough, and continues to use her tenacity to inspire those around her to attack diabetes more aggressively. "You do what you can, but we should all be doing a lot more."

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The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading 501(C)3 nonprofit charity providing diabetes research, information and advocacy.

Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes® is the premier fundraising campaign of the American Diabetes Association ®, now with virtual engagement designed for anyone and everyone to participate. The campaign has been expanded to include more members of our community and bring them together to learn about diabetes, healthy living and to support people living with diabetes. Step Out is a unique opportunity for businesses, clubs, friends and families to form virtual teams with the vision of a life free of diabetes and all its burdens.

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