By Elana Goldstein
With the success of the One City Summit, we are reminded of the value of engagement. Not only do we feel like we have done something for ourselves, but also that we have served a greater purpose and created value for our community. However, we don’t often talk about how the process of civic engagement can translate into engagement in other areas of our lives.
A long time friend of AmericaSpeaks, Doug Masiuk, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1977. Although he had managed his diabetes for his entire life, an experience with AmericaSpeaks inspired him to proactively engage with his condition and his community.
Doug has said that his experience with AmericaSpeaks in New Orleans during the Community Congresses helped him to understand that just because issues may seem insurmountable, doesn’t mean that they can’t be dealt with one step at a time. Doug took that knowledge and used it to change his life and the direction of his disease.
Four years ago, Doug put on a pair of sneakers and went for a run. He didn’t last a single mile. Today, Doug runs 175 miles a week and requires a quarter of the insulin he used to. In fact, some days he runs so much that he doesn’t need any insulin.
After combating his disease on a personal level, Doug decided that he needed to engage the greater diabetic community. Now he is planning to run across the country to raise awareness and create dialogue around diabetes nationwide. As Doug runs through communities, he will be working with diabetic groups and public health officials to encourage diabetics to get more active. From our vantage point as fans and supporters, it is inspirational to witness Doug’s transition from devoting himself personally to engaging an entire community in his cause.
Doug is looking to spark a national grassroots campaign to outrun the growing diabetes epidemic. If you are interested in learning more about Doug’s story or wish to support his cross-country run, please visit 1run.org.