Hitting the ground running

John Brannen
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Melanie Ryan hopes to reach $7,000 goal as Team Diabetes Canada run in Scotland

Fundraising can be pretty tough, but with the support of family and friends, Melanie Ryan may reach her goal yet.


Melanie Ryan with her son Cohen.

She’s hoping to raise $7,000 by June to participate in the Team Diabetes Canada- Half Marathon in Edinburgh, Scotland.

It’s been her goal to do the run for the past decade, but committed to the fundraising effort last year. Her connection and first-hand experience with diabetes keeps her going.

“My husband, Mark, was diagnosed with Juvenile diabetes when he was 11-years-old,” noted Ryan. “For this reason we decided to enroll our son Cohen, at birth, in a research study to help find a cure.”

On her page on the Team Diabetes Canada website, Ryan wrote that when Cohen turned 7, they received preliminary results from his blood work indicating that his risk had increased beyond genetic predisposition.

“Although these results were not encouraging, we know the research is going to children like my friend's 7-year-old daughter, just diagnosed.”

So far, she raised about $2,000 with $5,100 to go. She hopes the upcoming fundraising efforts will put her over the top.

On Jan. 25, there will be a night of local entertainment with a silent auction at Summer Street Industries from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Local shops have contributed to the silent auction.

It’s a way to raise funds while meeting with people and talking about diabetes.

“Awareness is really important,” said Ryan. “I’d love to have the support of the community and hope people affected by diabetes will connect with one another.”

She noted in particular the lack of information and understanding regarding latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA), or diabetes type 1.5, which is a form of type 1 diabetes that occurs in adults.

“Something like this can affect anyone,” Ryan said.

As for Cohen, now 8-years-old, he continues to be part of a study that looks at triggers for siblings, parents or children of type 1 diabetes patients.

“They were following whether any of the subjects were on a cow’s milk diet,” said Ryan. “Initially, it showed a correlation.”

Cohen has agreed to remain with the study, which consists of his blood being tested once a year at the IWK in Halifax for any autoantibodies.

Ray Stewart and other artists will present their talents in either a presentation of music or silent auction of their work at Summer Street Industries to raise money for Melanie Ryan’s campaign for Team Diabetes Canada.

Tickets will be available for sale at Big Al’s for $12 or $15 at the door.

To make a donation to Ryan’s campaign online, type in http://bit.ly/1d0KHxb.

Funds raised by Team Diabetes Members support the work of the Canadian Diabetes Association. The Association's mission is to promote the health of Canadians through diabetes research, education, services and advocacy.

Other international runs for the association will be in Madrid and Reykjavik this year.



On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn

Organizations: Street Industries, IWK, Canadian Diabetes Association

Geographic location: Scotland, Edinburgh, Halifax Madrid Reykjavik

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