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Indiana & Raiders of the Lost Tuk

We won't have huge boulders to outrun. No leather whips, snake pits, temples of doom, or power-hungry tyrants and bloodthirsty cult worshipers.

Even so. Feel free to call me Indiana.

Not because I'm named after the dog, but because I'm a Hoosier. At least that's what they tell me after living in this state now for six years. Just don't ask me to define what that word means - nobody here knows, even the lifers. But more significantly, you can refer to me this way because for the 1st time since I've lived here we are actually taking part in our Central Indiana Walk to Cure Diabetes on Oct. 9. That makes me Indiana, officially.

Every other year that we've had this walk, something else has interfered and pulled us away from participating- work, out-of-state travel, conflicting church charities. So six years have passed and we haven't found a chance to be a part of the type of event that I spent many of my younger years participating in, fundraising for, and generally just very excited about. Now, in my 26th year of Living With Diabetes, that adventure has returned and I'm very excited about it.

We are participating in the Central Indiana Walk to Cure Diabetes in downtown Indianapolis, as part of Team s5health. This is one of five walks happening statewide throughout the year, and the JDRF raises more than $2 million combined. Nationally, the walks raise roughly $100 million a year. The eight-person team goal is $5,000, though Suz and I are modestly only looking to raise a little bit each to help out. We will do what we can. Oh, and so is our Riley Dog! She's very excited to be a part of the walk this year, her first ever. We're also pretty confident that she won't have to raise any mula to get out there, but just to be a good sport we'll make sure she's sporting a past JDRF Walk shirt just for good measure!

Sadly, though, a feeling of sorrow seeps in as Walktoberfest draws near (not to be confused with Oktoberfest, which is nearly upon us beer-lovers!). The reason for that sadness is that there are SO MANY fellow DOCers who have their own walk teams and it's just not possible to attend or contribute to them all. A good chunk of online friends are traveling out to California to be a part of Team Ninjabetic, which happens to fall on George's 20th diaversary. There's many others, too, and I see from a scan of the JDRF Walk Central database that many fellow D-Bloggers are participating in their own walks throughout the country. I'd love to be a part of them all, since we are all in those for the same goal - to raise money for the JDRF efforts toward a cure. But that's just not possible, so I must settle on the joy that so many of us are involved and doing what we can in our own little corners and there'll be chances to read about the adventures through the blogosphere.

Now, the shameless plug: If you're so inclined to contribute to our local walk team effort, you can find a link to our Team s5health up above and then also off to the right there in the form of a Shoe Logo. As mentioned, Suzi and I are both participating in a family-created business team. So, there's that. Every dollar helps, as you know, and whether it's thoughts or dollars contributed, we're so very appreciative.

Despite this approaching excitement, though, I reiterate that we won't have rolling boulders or Lost Arks and that is somewhat of a bummer. However. We DO have news of another effort aimed at raising $5,000 for the JDRF, a team effort known as Raiders of the Lost Tuk.

Not sure about you, but I'm simply impressed by all the great Indiana Jones references going on here.

Ok. You may have heard of this, but if not here goes: The Rickshaw Run is a 2,000 mile, two-week trek across the entire sub-continent of India, all in the name of charity. At the heart of this trip is the mode of transportation - an Indian auto-rickshaw, also known as a rick, tuk-tuk, or simply “tuk." The Autumn 2010 Run starts September 11th, and this D-focused team known as Raiders of the Lost Tuk is racing alongside 60 teams from around the globe in an effort to raise much-needed funds and awareness for a worthy cause. No rules, and participants are up against sweaty jungle heat, dirt tracks, monsoon rains, and Himalayan peaks. One of the participants, Jim Matheson, is a longtime Type 1, and it's been pretty interesting watching the trip preparation video that includes packing all the needed D-Supplies. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and more importantly, for a good cause!

To me, this is cool on a few levels - not only does it raise money for the JDRF and that's great for the entire Diabetes Community, but it also goes to the point that we Persons With Diabetes can do anything despite this chronic condition - just look at race car driver Charlie Kimball, mountain climber Will Cross, and Olympic gold medal swimmer Gary Hall or Olympic skier Kris Freeman, to name a few. Now, that list of accomplishments can include trekking across Indiana on automatic rickshaws!

As you can see, we have a lot of good causes on tap for the Diabetes Community. Hope the generosity is free flowing, despite the tough economic times, and that everyone someone finds their place for giving back and being a part of the big cause. Maybe you can even get a chance to network with more people in the community and find a place where you can ignite your passions as an advocate.

Sure, staying home and watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade, or Kingdom of the Crystal Skull might sound more relaxing and inviting. But you never know what possibilities exist until you reach out and give it a go!

I promise, you won't have to dodge boulders or leap over snake pits. But you can pretty much find a place to crack that bullwhip of generosity and get your own theme music of appreciation. We can all be Indy Jones, whether we live in Indiana or not.

Keying Indy Theme music, the Raiders March by John Williams: Do do do doooo, do do do...


Donna said…
Cool theme!!! I have always wonder why "Hoosier" (did I even spell that right???) Glad to know that even the locals dont know what it means! haha
connie said…
I'm so excited for you, your wife and Riley dog!!! Good luck in your efforts to raise money for a cure, as a mom with two little girls who have type 1 diabetes...I THANK YOU!!!

Every dollar DOES count :) Go Team s5health!!!
Unknown said…
Hi Michael, Noticed you have a cartoon of Indiana Jones on this post. I wanted to purchase it to promote a Maths & Science Adventure stage show for school students I'm doing. Where did you find it? My email is if you could let me know. Cheers, Tony.

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