On May 13, at the Des Moines Fairgrounds, 35 members of Tim Vaughn’s family wore T-shirts with the saying, ‘Gone Goofy.’ Tim’s family gathered together to walk at the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) One Walk.
Johnnie and Doris Vaughn made Colo their home from 1975-1988 and their family of 14 (several of whom still live in Colo) have dealt with diabetes for almost half a century. The first family member to be diagnosed with this disease was 7 years old and has been fighting it for 48 years. As time passed, three other children were told they also have diabetes and Johnnie himself was diagnosed when he was in his 60s.
Diabetes can cause several complications and Tim battled many of them, including renal failure, cardiac issues leading to seven heart attacks, retinopathy, vascular problems and a kidney transplant. He was diagnosed at the age of 16 and after fighting this disease for 40 years, lost his life on Feb. 10 of this year.
In his memory, Tim’s daughter, Ginna Randall, organized the ‘Gone Goofy’ team for the diabetes walk. Why Gone Goofy? Ginna replied, “Because my Dad loved Goofy, so we wanted something with Goofy on it.”
Ginna set out to raise $500 for the JDRF and her goal was quickly met. So the next goal became $1,000 and the final amount raised was an amazing $1,610.
What did it feel like seeing so many family members gathering for this walk? Ginna said, “It was great to have so many people on our team supporting us. In the past we have only had six to eight walkers, so it was a big turnout for our team.”
When asked what Tim would have said about everyone at the walk she commented, “He would have been grateful that we were helping with such a great cause. Even if he didn’t benefit, he would have been proud that we were helping others with type one diabetes.”
Asked “If your Dad could give anyone advice about diabetes what would he say,” Ginna responded, “Live life to its fullest and don’t let it stand in your way.”
Ginna offers advice to other families who may find out a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes. “It is a long road with many ups and downs, but it can draw families together… Take care of yourself and listen to your doctors.”
Although Tim’s battle with diabetes has sadly ended, there are millions of people still fighting this disease every day, many of whom may even live in our own home towns.
So if you would like to help raise money for the research of diabetes, mark your calendars for Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. The Christmas Extravaganza Show will be back at the Colo Community School cafeteria and all proceeds will be given to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.