Eight-year-old Kaleigh Burkett’s motto is “shooting for a cure!” and the Ladysmith girl is determined to help raise money to find a cure for diabetes.
Burkett, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) just over two years ago, has dedicated a lot of her time to volunteering and raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and this year, she is one of the ambassadors for the Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes.
To get people excited about the walk, Burkett hosted a launch celebration July 24 at 49th Café.
The Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes, which will take place Sunday, Sept. 28 at McGirr Sports Fields in Nanaimo, is the signature fundraiser for the JDRF, the leading global organization focused on T1D research, focused on curing, better treating and preventing diabetes.
T1D is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. According to the JDRF, more than 300,000 Canadian children, adolescents and adults live with T1D.
During the launch event, there was live music by Kerry Ryan and a draw for prizes donated by Pharmasave, Jade Esthetics (Krista Dyer) and Old Town Bakery. As the national sponsor of the walk, Thrifty Foods donated snacks, while 49th Café donated the venue, and Save-on-Foods was a sponsor as well. Coast Realty in Ladysmith has sponsored T-shirts for the walk.
“Tonight is to build awareness for the walk and get people excited about the walk that’s coming and get their pledge forms,” explained Burkett’s mother, Courtney.
Burkett loves to sing, dance watch hockey and to make crafts. She has made crafts to sell as fundraisers, and she worked with Jada Bohmer of 3 Little Gems to create a diabetes awareness fundraising necklace and bracelet last year.
Burkett has been recognized for her fundraising efforts by being chosen as the Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes ambassador last year and this year and as the Gala of Hope ambassador. As well, she won a Leaders of Tomorrow award in 2013.
To learn more about Burkett and her fundraising, find the Kaleigh’s Hope page on Facebook.
For more information about the Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes, visit www.jdrf.ca/walk.