Saline Twirlettes—Ann Arbor, MI Step Out to Fight Diabetes
When Kate Swierz, a 15-year-old baton twirler in Michigan, first heard about the American Diabetes Association (ADA) walk event two years ago, she was excited to sign up and participate. However, she was a little daunted by the idea of fund raising and asking others for money. This year, she has her national championship baton twirling team raising thousands of dollars and stepping out to find a cure.
Kate was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 12 years old. Her team members knew she had diabetes because she had to check her blood sugar regularly during practice, and they were very supportive of her. After Kate and her mom participated in their first walk event, they approached the coach about forming a team with the other girls. With 20 members on her team, Kate knew she could raise even more money for the ADA.
At their first walk event as a team this fall, the "Saline Twirlettes" raised $2,400! The whole team participated, and they had a blast. Each team member used the ADA's online fund-raising tools to reach out to their family and friends and ask for donations. It was all done online, and it was much easier than Kate had imagined.
Kate says she will definitely put together another team next year. She even wants to become Youth Ambassador in her area to help people become more involved in the walk.
She has good advice for other young people who want to get their peers involved. "If you have a sports team or club that you are involved in, try and get them or a group of your good friends to form a walk team. Just do it for fun!"
Kate has come a long way since her first walk. It is now her personal goal to try and raise more money, and she feels good about being a part of such a worthy cause. Now that she has a team of support and fund-raising skills to boost her efforts, this full time baton twirler is truly dedicated to the fight against diabetes.
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