Petawawa diabetic walks 100 km, raises over $18,000 for research
Ruby Pilatzke (middle) of Petawawa leads her team on the final 10 km of her 100 km walk from Arnprior to Petawawa. (Dylan Dyson/CTV News Ottawa)
PETAWAWA, ONT. -- Ruby Pilatzke says she is sore and tired after completing the longest 24 hours of her life.
On Saturday afternoon, the 17-year-old from Petawawa finished a 100-kilometre, non-stop walk from the Antrim Truck Stop in Arnprior to the Civic Centre in Petawawa.
Pilatzke challenged herself with the trek to mark the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin and to raise money for diabetes research.
"Accomplished, proud of myself, and tired, but very proud," Pilatzke said after being asked how she felt following her 100-kilometre walk. "My legs are so sore and my feet are so blistered but they’ll heal. It was worth it."
Pilatzke lives with Type 1 diabetes and took on the walk in place of the annual JDRF Walk in Ottawa, which was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Coming across her own finish line in Petawawa, Pilatzke could not hold back her tears seeing the reception waiting for her.
"My community is just so amazing," Pilatzke told CTV News Ottawa. "I did not expect hardly anyone to be out here and to see everyone and so many other members who have Type 1 in this community all out here just means so much to know that people support me always."
With the walk, Pilatzke’s goal was to raise $10,000 for diabetes research. At the end of the walk, it was announced over $18,000 had been raised, with donations yet to be counted expected to push the total over $20,000.
"Just to see my daughter reach her goal, she had a goal set of $10,000 but it was so much more than that," says Julie Pilatzke, Ruby’s mother. "It was about raising awareness and it was about recognizing that insulin is having its 100th anniversary from its first development."
"She said she was doing it all in one day, and I was like oh my goodness that’s insane," says Pilatzke’s former high school teacher Krista St. Louis, who walked roughly 60 kilometres of the journey with Pilatzke. "It just shows her dedication for finding a cure for diabetes and wanting to help others who have diabetes."
"It just means so much because it means I’m getting closer to finding a cure, and having a cure in my lifetime would be incredible," says Pilatzke, taking in the total amount of money she raised for research. "I want to do everything I can to be a part of that."