Friends will go the extra mile for one another. Really GOOD friends go the extra 323 miles.
That’s the combined distance that 14 Wilton mothers and their daughters ran this past weekend, raising $3,150 in a virtual Ragnar JDRF relay race throughout Wilton to defeat Type 1 diabetes.
The women are members of Team Miles 4 Maddie and for several years have been running together either regularly in Wilton or on two Wilton-based teams that have competed in previous Ragnar Relays. As a team, they’ve also participated in many fundraising walks and completed the NYC marathon in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), led by Captain Martha Phelan, whose 13-year-old rising 9th grader Maddie was diagnosed with T1D in 2013.
This past April, the Ragnar organization announced an ongoing partnership with JDRF, the leading global organization supporting research for people impacted by Type 1 diabetes (T1D), in the pursuit to create a world without T1D.
Typically, a Ragnar race requires a team to run around the clock on a specified route to complete 200 miles. But to adjust for the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the “200 for T1D” spanned over June 19-21 and required a team to collectively run 200 miles ‘together’ wherever they wanted, but physically apart to remain safe during these uncertain times.
Phelan read about the challenge and realized it was the perfect event for the Miles 4 Maddie team, both to fundraise and raise awareness about T1D, a type of diabetes that has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle and affects a person suddenly. Currently, there is no cure or way to prevent it.
The 14 women have been more than running partners–they and their families, including the 27 daughters among them, have been friends for years. The daughters span from 5th grade through a recently-graduated Wilton High School senior (plus one WHS alum), and eight of the girls are in Maddie’s grade. They’ve all participated in past Miles 4 Maddie efforts but this past weekend’s Ragnar took the team to a new level.
“Words cannot express how much it means to our family every year when our friends and family support the Miles 4 Maddie team. In past years we have participated in the JDRF One Walks and seeing all of Maddie’s friends wearing their Miles 4 Maddie T-shirts and walk with her is amazing. This year seeing all of the girls physically challenging themselves running over three days to support Miles 4 Maddie was priceless. Not only are the girls supporting their friend but they are raising awareness and understanding of T1D,” Martha told GMW.
The support over the past seven years has been transformational for Maddie too.
“Maddie has grown from a girl reluctant to talk about T1D with friends to being the leader to organize these events,” her mom added.
The fundraising page for Team Miles 4 Maddie is still accepting donations as well.
The team members are pictured here: