Introducing: Hope Jars and your chance to “join me” on the JDRF Ride to Cure (The one where I REALLY hope you’ll join the fun)

Simple or fancy, frilly or plain -- it's what you'll put inside that will matter.
Simple or fancy, frilly or plain — it’s what you’ll put inside that will matter.

“Say it out loud or write it down. It’s the first step toward making it real.”

I don’t remember who the person was who said that to me when I was a kid, but it stuck. I’ve used that advice so many times in my life.

Like saying this:

“I want to be an editor at Snow Country Magazine.”

“I want to learn how to play tennis and win my club mixed doubles with my husband.”

“I want to find a way for my voice to be heard in the diabetes world.”

And okay, sometimes I’m not that deep.

“I want those new skis that just came out.”

Or even:

“I want my hair to look good for this event.”

Big or small, cosmic or somewhat silly: Dreams are good. And worth saying out loud, or at least giving a voice to in some way. All those came true for me. I’m sure there are others that are waiting to come true (a cure. A cure!) but I’ve put them out there, and that makes them feel reachable.

That’s why this year, I want you to share your dreams with me as I train and ride 100 miles in one day along the Mississippi River, all for the biggest dream of all: better treatments and a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

Since this year I’m riding along the Mississippi, I’m calling it my “River of Dreams Tour.” Last year, I carried with me the faces of thousands of people who care about a better future for Type 1 diabetes. This year, I want to carry your dreams as well. So with that, I ask you to consider joining me in an easy, fun way, right from your own home (or office or car or wherever!)

Whether you are a person with T1D, the parent or grandparent or aunt or friend of someone with T1D, or just a person who wants to dream big in life, consider joining me. Here is what I ask that you do:


Create a “Dream Jar”

 Find a jar – any jar. It can be a mason jar or an empty jelly jar or a bowl that you think looks pretty or a butter tub … whatever! And make it your “Dream Jar.” Decorating is good – but not a must. Place that jar somewhere in your home were you see it every day. On the piano. On the windowsill. In a bedroom.  On your desk. Wherever it fits in your life.

Next to it, keep a tiny pad of paper of any kind, and a pen or pencil (why not pick a fancy one? Dreams deserve bling!) Again, place it in a spot you’ll see it daily.

Now: USE IT!

How? Simple: fill it with “your dreams.” Either once a day, once a week, or whenever the mood strikes you, take a moment to sit down with a scrap of paper (post it note size would work. Hey – maybe different colored paper for different parts of your life!) and write down your dream for that day. Fold it up and put it in your dream jar.

At the same time, whenever you can, toss a dollar bill (or more or less) in there with your dream(s). If it’s a day you have a lot, put a big bill in there. If it’s a day things are tight, put your dream in there – it’s all good. My hope is that as we get closer and closer to my “River of Dreams Tour” Ride day, you’ll have a jar full of dreams …. And donations for the ride.

And now: SHARE IT!!!

 At the same time, I’ll be launching a Facebook page called “The River of Dreams Tour: Share your Dreams” Page. There, I’ll ask you to post a picture of you (or your child or loved one or friend or pet or whatever) with your “dream jar.” Under that photo, when the mood strikes you, I’ll ask you to share in comments a dream from that day. You don’t have to share every one – some are private. But sharing is going to be awesome. It will be fun to see the dreams build up as we move toward Aug. 17 and the River of Dreams Tour Ride day. It will be fun, too, to see how many dreams we all share in life. Remember: they DON”T just have to be about diabetes. We are NOT diabetes; it’s just a part of the life we live.

Share it with your friends and loved ones too. Ask them to write out a dream for your loved one with T1D and place it in the jar (or a dream for themselves in life.) … with a donation if they will (but without one if they won’t – dreams matter with or without donations). Let them know their dreams have been heard, and will be heard from here on.

Two weeks before the ride I’ll ask all of you who participate to send me (or to add up and donate that amount on line) the total that you’ve been able to gather in your dream jar. You can do this by writing a check to JDRF for the amount and mailing it to me (email me at for a mailing address), or by going on my ride donation page and making the donation there. It will be incredible to keep count and see how much our “Dreaming out loud” can raise for JDRF, and it will be fun.

Then, on ride day, I’ll carry with m a scroll with the dreams you share with me written on there. Each mile, I’ll ponder dreams, and say them out loud as a pedal along. From the simple to the sublime; from the sincere to the silly, they’ll all matter and be honored that day.

So: are you in?

Please, make your jar, and then share on this facebook page:

Our dreams can be real. And we can be the known as the people who cured diabetes – one fun project at a time. I cannot wait to see your photos and hear your dreams!

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