By guest blogger: Mikaila Ryna, Miss Newark 2014
My name is Mikaila Ryan and I am Miss Newark 2014. During my reign as Miss Newark, I will be showcasing my platform “Type No 1 – Fighting Type 1 Diabetes.”
This year, I have the added (awesome) pleasure of spreading awareness and advocating for a cure along with the JDRF (formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) of Delaware. During the 2014 Miss Delaware Pageant, which is the official preliminary to the Miss America Pageant, I will take the stage to showcase “Type No 1- Fighting Type 1 Diabetes” by sharing how I chose my platform. I will also take the opportunity to spotlight the accomplishments that the JDRF of Delaware has achieved in their fight for a cure.
I will be participating in many of the JDRF’s upcoming events and I am especially excited to participate in the JDRF of Delaware’s “Hope Ball”. This year’s Hope Ball theme is “Unmasking a Cure.” Prior to the Hope Ball, I will be raising money for JDRF via my Join Me page (shameless plug). JDRF and I will then challenge the attendees to match the money I raised. My goal is to raise $500.00. It is my hope that the generosity of the attendees will surpass my fund raising expectations.
Now let me share with you how my platform story began. I met Natasha about a year and a half ago; she was a teacher at the school that I work at. As I got to know her, I learned that she was truly an amazing teacher who really cared about her students. I also learned that she loves her dog Daisy, the color yellow, the beach and that she has Type 1 Diabetes. At the time, I really didn’t know much about Type 1 Diabetes and had never met anyone that had it. But as fate would have it, I would soon learn about it.
It was in early May, the students were all abuzz with excitement, summer was right around the corner. As Natasha finished up her lessons with her students, I gathered my things and got ready to go on my lunch break. About ten minutes went by and I began hearing the kids yelling from the classroom. It didn’t mean anything at first to me because well, lets face it kids can be loud. A few minutes later, I heard my name being called from Natasha’s classroom. I ran to the classroom and opened the door; some of the students were screaming, some yelling and some were crying.
At first I didn’t see Natasha then as I scanned over to the left of the classroom, I saw her. She was laying on the floor out cold. As the Office Manager tended to Natasha, I moved the students to another classroom. They were scared and concerned about her. I was worried too, but I couldn’t show my concern because I had to take care of the students. The ambulance arrived quickly and took her to the hospital. Thankfully she recovered quickly and was back to teach soon there after.
Later, I learned that the cause of Natasha’s reaction was due to a change in her diabetes medication. I couldn’t believe that something that was meant to save her life could so quickly put it in danger.
When I went home that night I talked to my family about what happened that day. I shared how helpless I felt because I did not know what to do to help her. Then I realized – I can help.
Working these past few months with the JDRF of Delaware has really opened my eyes to what Type 1 Diabetes really is and their mission to fund new research to help save the lives of millions of Americans. Today, I will begin by challenging all Delawareans to donate their change to help make a change, and find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.
Are you up for the challenge?