Matcha Source To Sponsor Diabetes Dance Marathon, Founded by Devoted Step Daughter, Motivated High School Student
If there’s something you want, ask for it. Tara Byrne did. Ms. Byrne sent us this e-mail and we were delighted to honor her request and sponsor her dance marathon to bring awareness to diabetes, especially in young people.
“Hello, My name is Tara Byrne and I am starting a Diabetes Dance Marathon at my local high school in Warwick, New York. At the dance marathon, I hope to have participation from organizations that support a healthy lifestyle in the youth of today. I would like to show other students that there are better options for them, now and in the future.
The Dance Marathon is looking for in-kind food or prize donations that can help improve the Dancers (high-school participants) health choices. If Matcha Source is interested in giving a product donation, then we would be more than happy to supply your business with advertisement. This would include a logo on our website, verbal recognition at our event, and more.
The Dance Marathon is planned to take place on May 19th and May 20th from 7 PM to 7 AM. We are expecting to have around 300 Dancers in attendance and 50 other participating volunteers. All of the funds raised by the dance marathon participants will go directly to the Diabetes Research Institute, a foundation solely devoted to finding a cure for the disease. Our goal is to raise more than $25,000! Any form of help is greatly appreciated.
Diabetes Dance Marathon
MS: Why are you creating a Dance Marathon for Diabetes?
TB: I created the Diabetes Dance Marathon because last May my stepfather was talking to me about the many worthy causes in the world. We mentioned a lot of charities and causes, but one in particular was very close to my stepfather’s heart. “Some people joke that they would give anything for cash or a new car,” he told me, “but I really would give up anything- an arm, a leg- to live a day without Diabetes.”
“Some people joke that they would give anything for cash or a new car,” he told me, “but I really would give up anything- an arm, a leg- to live a day without Diabetes.”
My stepfather is a Type 1 diabetic and has had Diabetes Mellitus for most of his life. There are countless complications associated with Diabetes, many of which are possibly fatal, and I have seen my stepfather suffer through it for the six years that I have been blessed with knowing him. Growing up, I have had a few Juvenile diabetic friends that taught me , so I have come to understand what it is like from a newly diagnosed perspective as well as my stepfather’s daily struggles. These men, women, and children are tough. They can do it, but we hope that some day they won’t have to. I want to be there when there are no more finger-pricks, injections, or swings in blood sugar levels. I have fully dedicated myself to this cause for this reason.
I believe that Diabetes is so close to being cured, but a financial push is needed now more than ever. Since adopting this cause, I have grown to be even more of an advocate for finding a cure. I have met so many interesting people by committing myself to this journey, and many of them are more than generous with their help. Many of our donors vow to give whatever help is necessary as long as we keep fighting, and we promise we will. The Diabetes Dance Marathon will fight for a future where our children and our children’s children will not need to know a lifetime of Diabetes.
MS: What do you hope to accomplish with the marathon?
TB: Our largest goal is creating awareness and prevention for Diabetes Mellitus. The Diabetes Dance Marathon is about changing the way people perceive their day-to-day choices. Yes, sometimes being healthy isn’t always the easier option. But in our hearts we know it is the right option. It is estimated that in the next generation, one out of three children will be diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus within their lifetime. The words of Thomas Edison perfectly embodied the philosophy for Diabetes Dance Marathon, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” The entire marathon is created around making healthy choices fun and attainable for any person. From the dance marathon’s Zumba classes to our snack options, everything is created for fostering good choices at an early age. If we could change the lifestyle choices of at least one individual, then I believe that our main goal has been met.
If we could change the lifestyle choices of at least one individual, then I believe that our main goal has been met.
A dance marathon is all about bringing together a community of young people who are dedicated to a common cause. The sense of togetherness and love is profound in these particular events, because each participant is connected by raising funds for the same purpose- to cure the world! There have been dance marathons focusing on AIDS and cancer research, but our event will be the first ever dance marathon on the east coast to raise money for Diabetes research.
All of our participants are united in doing something greater than themselves. However, our Dancers (dance marathon participants) are also encouraged to make a change for themselves. Type 2 Diabetes is becoming a worldwide epidemic due to poor eating and exercising habits, so we ask every Dancer to open themselves up to a change in their lifestyle choices. Many of our Dancers are just about to enter into college life, so we hope that what we show students at the Diabetes Dance Marathon can carry out into their adult years.
MS: What has been the biggest challenge so far?
TB: Living out what I preach to my Diabetes Dance Marathon event coordinating group as well as the Dancers has been my biggest struggle. I have been making healthy changes to my eating habits, as well as my exercising habits. Baking has always been a passion of mine, so learning how to adapt what I know to a healthy lifestyle has been both fun and challenging. Many blogs such as Chocolate-Covered Katie and A Daily Dose of Fit have helped me make this transition. I have started to add more fruits and veggies to my diet, and I have cut back on my sugar intake. My family has really supported me in this lifestyle change, so it has become less of a challenge and more of a habit over the last few months. From my experiences this year, the best advice I have received from making this change is that the world is meant to be taken on in moderation. I can ease into the world of fitness and health food while still indulging in sweets and lazy days every now and then. Yet when the better choices mentally overrule the self-indulging ones, I create healthy habits.
MS: What are your college plans?
TB: I am either crazy or smart for wanting to do this, but I am looking forward to taking a gap year next year. I am graduating early from my high school as a Junior to experience a year of volunteer work. I am currently looking into a Year-4-God program in New Zealand, but I will be making the final arrangements for wherever I may go in the next month. My favorite area of service is community outreach, which includes gathering food and clothing for needy families. It feels so good to be giving my time to such a worthy cause.
As for college, I will be taking online courses over the summer and while I am completing my gap year I will be taking courses at a local college. Rutgers University in New Brunswick has been my top choice school, so I hope to go their the following year. My interests are widespread, because I’ve thought of majoring English, Pharmaceuticals, Law, and Psychology. I hope that a year off will allow me to focus my interests so I’m not spending $40,000 when I’m not sure what to do.
Now It’s Your Turn
Simply by asking, Tara is well on her way to raising $25,000 for Diabetes Research Institute. We applaud her moxy and commitment. Please visit www.ddmwvhs.weebly.com to find out more and make your own contribution. Even five or ten dollars will send a message of validation to a young lady starting an adult life, a personal health journey, and a philanthropic social venture.
Good luck to all the dancers. A lucky one will go home with a Matcha Focus Tea Set.