Last May, Parkland resident Janet McMahan chaired a Ladies Night Out to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and she has been dancing to that beat ever since.
McMahan was introduced to type 1 diabetes eight years ago, when her son was diagnosed and eagerly got involved with the organization.
JDRF, which is headquartered in New York and has chapters throughout the U.S., as well as abroad, funds research and strives to help find ways to prevent, manage, and one day cure diabetes.
For McMahon and JDRF’s South Florida Chapter, based in Fort Lauderdale, the inaugural Ladies Night Out was a hit.
“We raised $22,000, which was more than I hoped,” McMahan, who has volunteered with the group for almost a decade, said.
The local chapter’s second annual Ladies Night Out is set for April 25, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Parkland Golf and Country Club. This year’s event will have food and drink, a DJ, and a silent auction that will feature more premium items. Tickets are $39 and all ladies of all ages are welcome.
“It is really important for young moms to attend because of the information we can make available to them about the warning signs,” McMahan said. “Unfortunately, a lot of kids do not get diagnosed early enough.”
You likely know someone who has been affected by diabetes, which can be diagnosed in people at any age. The condition leaves the body producing little to no of the hormone insulin, which it needs to process the sugar and fat from food. When insulin becomes too high, the consequences can be dangerous, even fatal, for sufferers when their blood sugar levels get too low or too high.
“You are always trying to find that balance, and there are factors that affect it, like stress hormones, and sometimes you do not know,” she said, “so it is a constant battle and there is never a minute off.”
Having a support network can make a difference. Families stay busy with JDRF events throughout the year. Every chapter has a JDRF charity walk in the spring, McMahan said, and then there is a gala in May. “I believe strongly in this particular organization,” McMahan said. “It is important to stay educated and involved so new developments can continue to benefit members of our community.”