Big Grassy woman to raise money for diabetes by running marathon in Iceland

By Heather Latter
Staff writer

Morning Star Tom of Big Grassy First Nations will be running a full marathon later this month in Reykjavik, Iceland to raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA).
Team Diabetes is the national activity fundraising program for the CDA, raising funds for the provision of education and services, while advocating for our cause and breaking ground toward a cure.
The CDA provides thousands of people from all walks of life with the opportunity to either walk or run a full or half marathon or shorter distance race in exciting Canadian and international locations.
“I found out about it probably close to 10 years ago and it was just something I’ve always wanted to do,” she expressed, although adding she is also supporting the CDA for a personal reason.
“I joined because my dad has diabetes and in 1998 my grandpa passed away from the complications of diabetes,” she explained. “The diabetes rate is three to five times higher on First Nations, so it does affect a lot of people.”
But she also enjoys running and has been training for this specially since March, running five days a week totaling between 60-75 km.
And she has also already completed two half marathons—one in Fargo, ND and the other in Winnipeg.
“I chose Iceland because of the climate. It is the one that is most similar to what I train in here,” Tom noted.
Since she has never been outside of North America, she is very excited for the opportunity.
Tom, who will be joining some of the participants from Manitoba and leaving from Winnipeg, will be among the 48 member team.
There is also one team trainer traveling with them.
“To date, we have raised nearly $300,000 for the CDA from this marathon alone,” she enthused, citing they were required to raise $6,100, with a portion of that covering the cost of the trip.
“But I’m trying to raise as much as possible,” Tom voiced. “If I could get to $10,000 by the end of August, that would be awesome.”
She explained the money raised for the CDA is dispersed among four areas:
•Providing education and support services to those living with diabetes as well as health care providers;
•Advocating for people living with diabetes;
•Supporting research; and
•Translating research into practical applications.
Those interested are encourage to pledge Tom for her marathon and help her in her efforts to support the CDA.
To donated online, visit www.teamdiabetes.ca. Click on the “Pledge” icon and follow the prompts. A credit card is required.
Donations can also be made by sending a cheque, made out to The Canadian Diabetes Association, to Tom at Box 824, Emo, Ontario, P0W 1E0
There will be a pledge sheet for cash donations at the Weechi-it-te-win Office located at 1457 Idylwild Drive, Fort Frances, Ontario.
All pledges $15 and over will receive a tax receipt.
“Team Diabetes not only prepares you for the physical challenge, but also provides you with the support you need to achieve your fundraising and training goals,” Tom expressed.