Thirty years ago Valerie Butterfield had her first Children’s experience. Her brother, Douglas, who was 7 at the time, was diagnosed with and treated for type 1 diabetes.
This was a scary time for the entire family. Thanks to the progress in juvenile diabetes research and treatment, a diabetes diagnosis is more manageable today.
Knowing what her family went through, Valerie, a longtime Children’s employee in information technology services, has decided to support other patients and families beyond her day job. On Oct. 4, she’ll run her first marathon — the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon — on behalf of Children’s charity running team, Team Superstars.
Valerie said she’s excited to raise awareness for a cause in which she believes and is humbled by the financial and emotional support of her friends, family and colleagues. Her dad, Keith, also is a Children’s employee, with more than 20 years of dedicated service. To date, she has raised more than $300.
Valerie always has been active off and on in running and various sports activities. Two years ago, following the birth of her second child, she began running regularly and joined Moms on the Run. She has run many distance races, half-marathons and the Ragnar Relay — an overnight, 200-mile epic relay with 12 of your closest friends (or strangers).
In addition to running her first marathon for a cause, she wants to set an example for her two sons.
“I’m grateful that I have healthy children,” she said, “and I want to show my children an example of healthy living.”
Brady Gervais is an annual giving officer in the foundation at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.