The Rockville Patch picked up this story; it can be found here.

Rockville, MD—Seven Optimal Networks employees will walk in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) Walk for the Cure on Saturday, April 21 at the Baltimore Raven’s stadium. Optimal participants will walk as part of team “Wild Will’s Crew” to support the son of Optimal’s staff accountant, Joe Hodge, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in January.
The seven Optimal employees will be bringing their significant others, making up almost one third of the team, currently 60 members strong. “Wild Will’s Crew” team members will wear arm bands and T-shirts identifying their support of six-year-old Will Hodge. Optimal staff who are unable to participate donated funds to the cause. The team has raised almost $6000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to date.

“I go to work every morning and see Optimal’s values on the wall [Tell the Truth. Do the Right Thing. Everyone Benefits.], but the outpouring of support for my son and others like him has reinforced the type of company Optimal is,” said Hodge. “My co-workers not only have my back at work, but they have my back outside the office as well; they are my friends.”

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly. In the body of those with the disease, beta cells that produce insulin in the islet tissue of the pancreas are destroyed. The lack of insulin causes the blood sugar level to rise past normal rates forcing the body to then use fat and muscle for energy. This process causes the release of ketones (fatty acids) which can cause a life-threatening chemical imbalance in the body. Currently, Will checks his blood sugar six to eight times per day and receives insulin injections four times per day.

“My colleagues inspire me every day,” said Heinan Landa, Optimal’s CEO, “but the way in which they have rallied around Joe, his wife Amy, and their son Will as they faced this challenge has been unbelievable.”

The Hodge family is aligned with both the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and plans to continue fundraising and volunteering for both organizations after the walk. Click here to find out more about their story or contribute to team “Wild Will’s Crew”.

About Optimal Networks
Founded in 1991, Optimal Networks, Inc. provides comprehensive computer and network support services including full or partial IT management outsourcing, back-up and disaster recovery, cloud computing, and technology consulting services to law firms, associations, and small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs). For more than two decades, Optimal has helped approximately 400 clients reduce network downtime, improve system performance, and make sure their technology helps drive their organization’s success.

About the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on Type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and is the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. The JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes is one of many JDRF fundraising efforts and draws people together in a healthy activity for a worthy goal, raising money to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to diabetes research.

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