Friday, June 10, 2011

Team Elise - Portugal style!

I wanted my first post about Portugal on here to be this one, because it was undoubtedly the coolest. Let me give you a little background...

We have this friend, Tiago. Fred met him in NYC, and he has since moved back to Portugal. Last year, he organized a walk the coincided with the one here in Dallas.

This year, since we were going to be in Portugal, he planned it during our trip. When I say HE planned it, that's exactly what I mean... Tiago was pretty much a one-man walk-planning committee. It was not put on by the JDRF, or any other diabetes group. It was started and run by Tiago. I think he had some help, but there were times when Fred would be on the phone with Tiago, discussing walk things at 10:00 pm our time (4:00 am in Portugal).

The end result was a fantastic walk, complete with shirts, sponsors, and almost 200 people walking. I cannot believe that so many people, most of which have no connection to Elise or diabetes, would come out and walk to show support. I think it really speaks to the generosity of the Portuguese spirit. I don't have the final numbers on what was raised, but Tiago thinks it could be over $2000 Euro (almost $2900 USD).

Many of the people were return walkers from last year and were so excited to meet Elise. Some even wanted to have their picture taken with Elise!

One of the best parts was meeting Laurinda. She is a Portuguese D-Mom that has a 11 year old daughter, Clara, with type 1. She and her family made the 3 hour drive to be a part of the walk. And like all Portuguese people, she showed up bearing gifts for the kids and some yummy Portuguese pastries too!

I wish we had had more time to spend together. Laurinda was so great to talk to, and I felt connected to her right away, even though we had just met. It just shows you how D links us together, despite being from different countries, continents, and cultures.

Okay, get ready... because I have a buttload of pictures to share. I might even have to do two separate posts because there are so many!
The following pics are the ones from our camera.

Team Elise... Portugal!

The guest of honour

Too cute for words

All I can say is that Fred needs to shave (he doesn't while on vacation)

And away we go

A long blue line


Fred's sister, their cousin and her husband & son (R to L)

Fred's Grandma (R) and her friend, Olga

Fred's Mom (R) and her friend, Odete

Turning around point and water station

Fred with Laurinda and her family (Clara is in the middle)

Lunch time after the walk

All the type 1s that were there for the walk (except Fred, of course)

Elise sporting her cute bow made by Laurinda

Elise and the amazing Tiago!


  1. wow all those pics are wonderful .

  2. Chills! What an amazing outpouring of support...just awesome! So glad you were all able to be a part of it this year...special for you and for those who wanted to meet Elise!
    Oh, and can I just say that the beard makes Fred even more of a hottie? ;)

  3. I have goosebumps! Love it and especially love that they all wanted pictures with Elise. She is a rock star!

  4. Awesome!!!! So much love and support! Simply amazing!

  5. Amazing..brought tears to my eyes!!

  6. Beautiful! Love it and Tiago and all the pictures. You all look fabulous. And oh, how encouraging that must have been! You are so blessed to have such a great support group! (((HUGS)))

  7. I am crying. The Walk, the Country, the People. Thank you for sharing Jo. Thank you.

    What a wonderful man Tiago is.

  8. I have tears! How amazing! LOVE the people of Portugal and Tiago, super awesome!

    Love, love, love THIS!

  9. What an amazing experience for you all! It's a tremendous feeling of connection. Thank you for sharing.

  10. How very kind of your friend...that takes someone so special to make such a tremendous effort. And, gosh, going to Portugal -- very fun, very lucky!

  11. Amazing Joanne!! That Tiago is one awesome dude! Love the heart is feeling very happy seeing all those people walking. wow!

  12. How fantastic!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Tiago!

  13. Hi joanne.
    Thank you for your words...
    I must say I felt the same...You are a wonderful mama, a great women and I wish we had more time to know each other better!!
    Who knows...maybe next year!!!
    Loved the pictures and I´m sorry we have not taken any pictures together...
    Hope evything´s fine with you all.

    Big kiss for you, Fred, Elise and Mathias.


  14. I am blown away. That is truly incredible. I can't get over Tiago organizing this on his own and not with JDRF. And all those people! INCREDIBLE!!!

  15. Thanks for all of your comments ... I've got tears in my eyes as I write this.

  16. Absolutely incredible! What an amazing and awesome man Tiago is to put that all together! The outpouring of support is incredible! So glad you all were able to time your trip and walk together!

  17. thank you for posting this Jo...what an amazing friend Tiago is and i was completely in tears reading of Laurinda and her family and your instant connection. Such an AMAZING event!!

  18. Tiago rocks! What an awesome giving, loving spirit! No wonder he and your family hit it off so well!


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