Rockland walk to support diabetes research

Sponsors, walkers needed
By Kim Lincoln | Jul 26, 2013
Photo by: Kim Lincoln Sarah Bickford, left, and Kate Dennison are organizing the Rockland Walk to Cure, a fundraising walk to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The walk is Saturday, Aug. 24, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Rockland Elks Lodge.

Rockland — For Sarah Morin Bickford, organizing a walk to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes is very close to her heart — she has lived with the disease for 20 years.

Bickford, 28, of South Thomaston and friends Kate Dennison of Warren and Kaitlyn Dalpini of Lincolnville are organizing a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Rockland Walk to Cure.

It will be held Saturday, Aug. 24, at 10 a.m., beginning at Rockland Elks Lodge on Rankin Street. The walk is three miles.

"When I was just 8 years old I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. I had never even heard the word 'diabetes', nor was I able to comprehend what that meant for the rest of my life," Bickford wrote in her fundraising letter.


Type 1 diabetes symptoms

The symptoms may occur suddenly, and include one or more of the following:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Drowsiness, lethargy
  • Sugar in urine
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
  • Heavy, labored breathing
  • Stupor, unconsciousness

There are two major types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Only 5 percent of people with diabetes have Type 1, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a disorder of the body’s immune system where it is unable to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy.

For this reason, people with Type 1 diabetes must inject insulin to survive.

Bickford initially began taking five injections each day, drawing the dose from a vial of insulin using a syringe. Later, she began using insulin pens, which are pre-loaded syringes, and now uses an insulin pump to deliver her daily doses.

"I can't imagine not having it now," Bickford said of the pump. "It gives me so much more freedom and makes it easier to forget, at least for a few minutes, that you have diabetes."

Research has come along way since Bickford was diagnosed and technology has also improved. She has recently read online articles indicating researchers have found the root cause of diabetes and will be doing further exploration on the topic in the next two years.

"I'm hopeful I'll see it within my lifetime," she said of finding a cure.

Bickford said it has been years since she participated in a fundraising walk for diabetes and when she looked on the JDRF site, the closest location was in Saco. The walk usually is held in Portland, but since Baxter Boulevard is under construction, the walk was moved to the more southern location.

JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of Type 1 diabetes research and the organization's mission is to remove the impact of the disease from people's lives. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education.

"Diabetes is such a prevalent problem, especially in the state of Maine. Portland is a populated place, but it is a long way for most people to travel," Dennison said.

The women are hoping that a walk in Rockland will draw people from other parts of the state to participate.

The two have been soliciting businesses for sponsors for the event and are also seeking donations, walkers to participate, and raffle items.

Every walker who raises $100 will receive a T-shirt, but they will also be available for purchase the day of the walk.

For businesses that donate a minimum of $100 by Friday, Aug. 2, their company's logo will appear on the T-shirts. Sponsors are also needed for the mile markers.

Businesses participating so far by way of financial support or donating a raffle item are: Bridal Bouquet, ESM, Inc., Cordjia Capital Projects Group, Fabian Oil, Motor Supply, Panera Bread, Hannaford, Texas Roadhouse, Rock City Cafe, Smokestack Grille, LAUGH loud SMILE big, Global Packing and Shipping, Kristen Transribes and Jessica LeCaptain Photography.

Shads Advertising Co. is supplying the T-shirts for the event at cost and E&H Creates is designing them at no cost.

To donate or sign up to walk on Aug. 24, go to: Currently, the walk is not showing up as a location on the JDRF website, but should be soon, the women said.

For more information, contact Bickford at 242-3024 or For more information about JDRF, go to

Courier Publications Copy Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at She has had Type 1 diabetes for 24 years and will also be participating in the walk.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Richard A. Lane | Aug 02, 2013 16:30

Way to go guys!!!!!  This is a great cause.  I hope that lots of people walk and lots of money is raised.  I am an RN CDE (cettified diabetes educator)  and know the struggles first hand as I also have Type 1 Diabetes and also I work with many who struggle with this very demanding disease.  Thanks for all your work in this.  Proud of you Kaitlyn Dalpini for your part.  Karen Lane, RN CDE

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