Shannon Allen Rallies around Team Joslin for Marathon
Wife of Celtics Star Ray Allen and Mom to Child with Type 1 Diabetes Motivating 14 Runners in Support of Joslin Diabetes Center
BOSTON – April 10, 2009 – It has been almost one year since the Boston Celtics became NBA champions. But, for Shannon Allen, wife of Celtics star guard Ray Allen, it’s also been nearly 12 months since their youngest son, Walker, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. For the Allen family, the past months have been filled with ups and downs and certainly some highs and lows.
“When Walker was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, we didn’t know what to think or do. But, the care, support and education we have received at the Joslin Diabetes Center has been invaluable,” said Allen. “Learning to manage our son’s diabetes has been nothing short of a personal marathon wrought with highs and lows and, hopefully, an eventual triumph. That’s why our family is supporting the members of Team Joslin as they make the trek from Hopkinton to Boston.”
This year, 14 motivated individuals will hit the ground running on April 20 in support of Joslin Diabetes Center’s High Hopes Fund, which supports the Joslin’s efforts to improve the lives of people with diabetes through care, education and research, and to prevent and cure the disease.
“Joslin is the one place that offers children with diabetes and their families the best clinical care for this disease in the world as well as hope for a cure. A cure will be the ultimate finish line and I truly believe that together we can reach it,” said Allen. “Many of our friends will be running to support this great cause, and Walker, Ray and I will be cheering on the entire team in their quest to reach their goals.”
In addition to Allen’s inspiration and motivation, the team will once again be led through the 26.2 mile course by Ironman Triathlete Jay Hewitt. Hewitt, who lives with type 1 diabetes, competes professionally in Ironman triathlons as a three-time member of the U.S. National Team for Long Course Triathlon. Allen and Hewitt’s roles as co-captains of Team Joslin help spread awareness about Joslin’s vision of a world without diabetes.
“I’m running for Team Joslin for the third year in a row because I am passionate about Joslin’s mission,” said Hewitt, of Greenville, SC. “And, I hope to continue to show people that diabetes should not be an obstacle. It has not stopped me from competing, but rather made me a better competitor.”
While the members of Team Joslin are running for many reasons, one stands above the rest – their connection to diabetes.
For Sheryl Hirsch of Needham, Mass., it’s the care her son Garrett, 8, receives at Joslin that is motivating her.
“In 2004, our son Garrett was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Today, he is a healthy, spirited second grader who is thriving due to improved technologies, such as his insulin pump. He’s also flourishing thanks to the support of his big-sister, Amanda, his wonderful school nurse, and the caring staff at Joslin,” said Hirsch. “I am running with Team Joslin because, in addition to helping Garrett and thousands of others with diabetes live healthy and productive lives, Joslin leads innovative research on preventing and curing the disease.”
Amy Henes of Westwood, Mass., who was diagnosed with type I diabetes in October 2008, is running to prove to herself that she can be just as active as she was before her diagnosis.
“I am inspired by the children I have met who have been living with diabetes for all their lives and by several of my fellow teammates who have been running with diabetes for many years,” said Henes.
In addition to Hewitt, Hirsch and Henes, Team Joslin runners include: Andy Butler of Boston, MA; Emily Burkott of Boston, MA; Marie Barsamian of Libertyville, IL; Jay Dunigan of Londonderry, NH; Douglas Glazer of Chestnut Hill, MA; Jayne Garlick of Weston, MA; Jason Krol of Freemont, VT; Karen Kaplan of Brookline, MA; Audrey Epstein Reny of Boston, MA; David H. Shapiro of Sandton, South Africa; and Daniel Walz of Port Washington, NY. For more information about each of these runners and to support Team Joslin, click here.