Hi! I’m Lauren. I’m co-VP of Marketing and Communications for YPAD and I want to share what it means to me to be a part of this group.
The name says it all. We’re young professionals who have a passion for a cause – raising awareness about a condition that affects our community. People we work with, our friends, our family, even some of us.
Yes, there are LOTS of causes to support. Tons of great charities, fundraisers and community groups to donate your time and resources to. So why did we choose diabetes? Because 1 out of every 10 people in our community will develop diabetes. Because over 200,000 people here in central Ohio have diabetes now. Because with the right measures you can prevent diabetes and the right resources you can live a quality life with diabetes.
We realize there can be a stigma here. Many people without diabetes have misconceptions about those that do – they’re lazy, unhealthy or unwilling to do the work to take care of themselves. Not only do we want to educate these people, but we want to provide resources so they can prevent developing the disease themselves.
Because, there are several kinds of diabetes. Sometimes it’s something you’re born with – something you can’t help – and sometimes it’s something that can be prevented or helped with lifestyle modifications. One of the biggest challenges we face is lack of awareness about the disease.
Thankfully, we’re part of a great organization – the Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA). CODA is a nonprofit, community based organization that provides resources to our community to help detect diabetes, prevent onset of complications, and help people live well with the challenge of diabetes.
CODA does all the heavy lifting here, but we do what we can to support the cause. One of the biggest things we do is plan and execute an annual 5K. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Santa Speedo Dash? We spend a large part of the year planning all the details around this event. We put our blood, sweat and tears into making this a success. Well, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but we are seriously committed. Yes, because it’s rewarding. But let me be real here – it’s fun!
Our team is a diverse mix of people – different backgrounds, lifestyles, professions and reasons to be here. But, we mesh. We know how to laugh and have fun, all while getting things done and leaving meetings feeling accomplished. And…often with sore cheeks from laughing!
If you’re interested in checking us out, please do. There’s no obligation. We’re not stuffy. Join us for a meeting (or a happy hour) and learn a little about what makes us tick. Hopefully, you’ll fall in love with our energy and drive and want to join. If not, maybe you’ll walk away with a few new friends.
If I were to share one thing about being a part of YPAD, it’s this: whatever you’re looking to put into this, we want you! We understand the challenges of balancing it all (believe us) so however you want to be involved, there’s a place for you. You can be a member of the executive committee (positions available!) or just volunteer here and there – it’s all cool with us.
Regardless, stay tuned. Our team will be regularly blogging about life as a YP in Columbus – fun opportunities to get involved, ideas about healthy living and even some reviews of central Ohio businesses that support our mission.
-Lauren Peach Co-VP Marketing & Communication of YPAD