Help Beat Type One Diabetes with a Local Middle Schooler this Sunday, May 16th

Seventh grade Snoqualmie middle schooler Zane Alexander has been chosen to serve for his 2nd year as the 39th Annual Nordstrom Beat the Bridge Ambassador.

Zane was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 3 years old.  His life, and his family’s life, changed immediately. He, his mom Lisa and dad Josh all now must think about his Type 1, 24/7. Says his mom Lisa,” We are constantly monitoring his blood sugar numbers to make sure he doesn’t drop dangerously low or run too high.”

The family, including a younger sibling, moved to the Ridge 8 years ago, right before Zane started Kindergarten.  One of the Alexanders biggest fears after his diagnosis was how the school would go and how it would be handled.  Says Lisa, “We were VERY lucky to get an amazing nurse at CVES, and it definitely jumpstarted his successful journey of school and Type 1 Diabetes.”

Zane and his Co-Embassador Mabel

Zane has never let his diagnosis stop him from anything.  He plays competitive soccer, mountain bikes, snowboards, does sleepovers and does great in school.  They have always told him he could do anything anyone else does; he just has a couple of extra steps.

The Nordstrom Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes is a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. The event consists of an 8K run and wheelchair race, a 3-mile walk, a 1-mile fun run, and the Diaper Derby for toddlers.

The event is called Beat the Bridge because, in a typical year, the course travels over Seattle’s University Bridge, which is raised during the race. Participants try to cross the bridge before it is raised. Those who don’t beat the bridge must wait, with a live band and entertainment, for the bridge to come back down. After a few minutes, the bridge lowers, and everyone can finish the race.

Since the first Beat the Bridge race in 1983, Nordstrom has partnered with JDRF to raise funds to cure, prevent and better treat T1D. Beat the Bridge is part of the JDRF One Walk program, which holds annual charitable walks in more than 200 locations in 13 countries. JDRF One Walk has raised more than $1 billion for T1D research, and Seattle is proud to currently hold the number one position as the largest Walk in the country. They hope you will join them on May 16, 2021, for the 39th Annual Nordstrom Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes.

Since Zane was diagnosed with diabetes, he has been unstoppable and has taken on this disease as a true champ.  Is it easy?  Never.  Is it frustrating?  Most of the time.  Is it the worst thing that can happen?  Nope.  Does it make him stronger?  Yes.  Does it make him a better person? His dad Joshua thinks so.

Last years event

With T1D, the pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone essential to turning food into energy.  If you have T1D, you must constantly monitor your blood-sugar level, inject or infuse insulin through a pump, and carefully balance these insulin doses with your eating and activity.

The symptoms for T1D are-

-frequent urination

-extreme thirst

-fatigue/weakness

-increase appetite

-unexplained weight loss

-fruity smell to breath

Every dollar donated to Beat the Bridge today will help fund research for better treatments to remove the daily burden of this disease until there is a world without T1D.

The disease does not sleep, does not take vacations, and does not go into remission.  This disease is always lingering, but the Alexanders do the best they can and always have HOPE that a cure will be found in his lifetime.

As they did last year, Zane’s team “Unstoppable” will run an 8k, bike or walk on Snoqualmie Ridge on May 16 to raise awareness and to help fund critical research to find a cure. Zane & his family would love to have everyone join their team and come out to walk or run with them. So far this year, Zane’s team UNSTOPPABLE has raised over $6,000.

Unstoppable Ridge running route

In 2020, Beat the Bridge went virtual in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, for the health and safety of the community, JDRF and Nordstrom have decided to reimagine again the 2021 Nordstrom Beat the Bridge from an in-person event to a virtual one.

You can hit the pavement in your neighborhood for the 39th Annual Nordstrom Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes benefiting JDRF on May 16th.

Unstoppable Ridge walk/bike route

What does that mean exactly? On the morning of Sunday, May 16th, instead of gathering at Husky Stadium, everyone is encouraged to run, walk, hop, or skip wherever they are. While they may be moving through different streets, they remain committed to Turning Type One into Type None.

About JDRF & Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic, life-threatening autoimmune disease that is currently unpreventable. It has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle and occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas and begins killing them off. Eventually, the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to control the blood-sugar spikes that happen after eating. Today, people with T1D rely on insulin therapy to control their blood sugar levels. However, insulin therapy is imperfect, and even with advances in care, most people still experience life-threatening blood-sugar highs and lows.

1.6 million Americans currently have type 1 diabetes (T1D), and the disease costs about $15 billion each year to treat. Finding ways to prevent this disease is central to saving lives and reducing healthcare costs. With T1D, there are no days off, and there is no cure. That’s why since 1970, JDRF has sponsored nearly $2 billion in scientific research in 17 countries. They won’t stop until they create a world without T1D.

When you support Beat the Bridge, you join more than 900,000 people, including 2021 Ambassador Zane, who come together to raise funds to change the future for the millions of people with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

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