The Nisbet Family - Photographed by Julie LInnekin

Raising awareness and the funds to find a cure are two of the main missions behind the 14th annual DASH to Cure Diabetes at 8 a.m. next Sunday, May 26th.  It’s a 4-Mile run & 5K walk for adults & teens plus a series of Junior Dashes for kids age 12 and under at Citizens Park.

DASH to Cure Diabetes Junior Dashes - Photo Provided
DASH to Cure Diabetes Junior Dashes – Courtesy of The DASH to Cure Diabetes

But participants say there is no dollar amount that quantifies the emotional support they feel from those who show up, simply to support the cause.  The Nisbet family is just one example.  Their youngest daughter, Marjorie, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 11-months-old.

The Nisbet Family - Photographed by Julie LInnekin
The Nisbet Family – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Marji turned four earlier this year, but Tim & Courtney say they remember well what it was like when she was first diagnosed.  “A few weeks before her first birthday, Marji had the stomach flu and hers lasted.  By day 5, she had an increase in her thirst.  She was constantly drinking bottles and throwing up and she was very lethargic.”  When they took her to see the doctor, Courtney says a quick test revealed that her blood sugar was off the charts.  “We are lucky it was diagnosed when it was. It was early.  She could have had neural effects such as brain injury.”

Marjorie Nisbet at Home - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Marjorie Nisbet at Home – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Diabetes affects 16 million Americans, 4 million children, and can strike at any time.  The only way to control the disease is through proper nutrition, insulin and monitoring blood sugar levels.  Just after Marji’s diagnosis, Courtney says she immediately went into fact-finding mode, learning how to manage Marji’s blood sugar levels and administer insulin via injections or a pump & catheter to keep her healthy.

Marji's Diabetes Medication - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Marji’s Diabetes Medication – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

But even as a neonatal nurse herself, Courtney says, at first, managing Marji’s diabetes was overwhelming.  “You have to break it down.  Testing, glucose monitoring and tracking what a one-year-old eats was a nightmare.  To test her levels, we have to prick her finger 10 to 15 times a day.  It was really difficult for me.  It took me a while to get into a groove.”

Courtney and Marjorie Nisbet - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Courtney and Marjorie Nisbet – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

And that’s when the Nisbets reached out to Karl and Nancy Fruecht, a couple they’d never met, who live just minutes away from them here in Barrington.  The Fruechts are the family that started The DASH to Cure Diabetes in 2000, about a year after their 17-year-old daughter, Molly, was diagnosed at age three.

The Fruecht Family
The Fruecht Family

We could hear the emotion in Courtney’s voice when she remembered that first connection with Nancy Fruecht.

“When I reached out, it was like talking to an old friend.  We didn’t have to say much.  Just knowing that they had ‘been there’ with their own daughter, knowing that they’re always going to be there for us, having that emotional support right here in Barrington has been so meaningful.”

And Tim says Karl was an incredible help. “He gave me a full rundown of what to expect and what we would be going through.”

Tim, Courtney and Marji Nisbet
Tim, Courtney and Marji Nisbet – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

That support system is what DASH founder, Karl Fruecht, says it’s all about.  “When our daughter, Molly, was diagnosed, we felt like we were on the planet on the other side of Pluto.  With The DASH, we wanted to create a non profit organization and an event to raise money to cure diabetes.  In the process, we created a network for people newly diagnosed to reach out and and have someone locally to talk to about it.”

Since 2000, The DASH has contributed over $600,000 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and The American Diabetes Association.  Today, the group has eight committee members, all touched with diabetes in some way, who believe that next week’s DASH race will ultimately help lead to a cure.

Dash to Cure Diabetes Committee at Citizens Park - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
DASH to Cure Diabetes Committee at Citizens Park – Margaret Mickey, Laura Morrissey, Russ Mills, Nancy Fruecht, Dennis Mickey, Jim Iuorio, Rich Curran & Karl Fruecht – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Here’s what some of those committee members say are the reasons why they’re involved with The DASH:

Spotlight - 2013 Dash Logo Ad 260x260Russ Mills
“My daughter, who is 22, was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 8-years-old.  The longer you live with diabetes, the more physical problems occur with your kidneys, eyesight, heart, that kind of thing.  And I don’t want my daughter to experience any of that stuff.  I help the DASH for Diabetes because I really believe that there can be a cure someday.”

Dennis Mickey
“My 22-year-old son, Evan, was diagnosed when he was ten and it just changed our lives completely.  I hope they develop a cure someday so that other kids, other people, don’t get it.  That’s the ultimate goal.”

Jim Luorio
“My wife’s brother has diabetes.  My father has diabetes. And I’d love to see a day where, even before there is a cure, the plight of the juvenile diabetic could be made a little easier.”

Nancy & Karl Fruecht
“We want The DASH to Cure Diabetes to go out of business.  In our lifetimes, to find a cure, to go out of business and to stop running these races, that is our goal.”

If you’d like to join the group and take part in the 14th annual running of the DASH to Cure Diabetes, it’s happening at 8 a.m. on Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, May 26th, at Citizens Park in Barrington.

To register online, CLICK HERE.

The race includes a 4-Mile Trail Run and a 5k walk which both start at 8 a.m.  Their Junior Dashes (100 yd, 1/4, 1/2, and Mile Dash) are very popular with area kids and start at 9:00 a.m.

Kids Wait to Race at The DASH for Diabetes - Photo Provided
Kids Wait to Race at The DASH for Diabetes – Courtesy of The DASH to Cure Diabetes

The cost to participate is  $30 for the walk/run or $15 for the dashes and there are great goodie bags plus TECHNICAL T-Shirts going to the first 500 registered.  Money raised will go directly to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Packet Pick-Up is Saturday, May 25, from 10am to 3pm at Viking Ski and Patio, 131 W. Northwest Highway in Barrington. Packet Pick-Up also available on race day beginning at 6:30 a.m.

To learn more about The DASH, visit their website at

And here’s a look at a video outlining the mission of The DASH to Cure Diabetes.

We’re excited to welcome The DASH to Cure Diabetes as the newest member to join our Barrington Online Marketplace…

For more info about DASH to Cure Diabetes initiatives, CLICK HERE to visit their profile page that we just published in our Barrington Online Marketplace here at

To peruse all of our existing Marketplace member features, visit To follow the latest members to join our Marketplace, visit And if you’d like to become a featured member of our Marketplace, visit

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