Michelle “Micki” Hill is confident she will cross the finish line at the New York City Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 7.
A long-time area resident, Hill is a civilian employee of West-Comm (the local 911 serving Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Cypress, and the Orange County Parks Rangers). The marathon, however, is unrelated to her work.
Running has always been a part of her life. In 2019, she was among the group that ran with the Special Olympics torch through Seal Beach streets. (They stopped in front of the Sun office to be photographed by a couch potato journalist.) She ran cross country when she was in high school.
She’s going to run 26.2 miles to raise money for diabetes research and awareness of diabetes. Hill, 52, has Type 1 diabetes.
Back when she ran the Baker to Vegas run—a 120-mile law enforcement relay—she had to prick her finger to check her blood levels during the whole thing.
Hill wears a glucose monitor.
Technology no longer makes it necessary for diabetics to draw blood from their fingers (or parents of small children with diabetes to draw blood from their children’s fingers).
So far, Hill said she has raised a little more than $3,000 for diabetes. Her goal is to reach $5,200 because she is 52 years old.
Hill was diagnosed 11 years ago, according to Kim Pace of Beyond Type 1, a nonprofit that supports individuals living with the Type 1 diagnosis.
“Through platforms, programs, resources, and grants, Beyond Type 1 is uniting the global diabetes community and providing solutions to improve lives today. Founded in 2015 with a focus on education, advocacy and the path to a cure for Type 1 diabetes,” according to the Beyond Type 1 website.
According to Hill, her family has lived in the Seal Beach and Los Alamitos area since her kids graduated from high school.
Hill said she is a past PTA president at Los Alamitos High School and Rossmoor Elementary.
“So we’ve been around for a while,” Hill said.
Why run a marathon at all?
“It’s an adventure,” Hill said. “It’s exciting.”
She wanted to “prove to myself I can do it,” Hill said.
An experienced runner (NYC won’t be her first marathon.) She likes to think while she runs. Hill said 26.2 miles will give her plenty of time to think.
She’ll run as one of 50 members of the Beyond Type 1 team. They share information on Zoom. Hill said the group has made her confident that she can cross that finish line.
One day, the group sent out an email seeking runners. Hill believes that running in the New York marathon might teach young people that having a diagnosis doesn’t have to hold them back; that they can have goals and accomplish them.
When she was a PTA president, Hill said one of the kids was diagnosed with diabetes and that was hard for him because he would be different from other kids.
“It’s teaching people that they don’t know what [other] people are going through,” Hill said, apparently referring to the diabetes diagnosis.
For Hill, the diagnosis meant she had to put more thought into her meals.
Hill said she has to figure out how many carbs she’s eating and figure out how much insulin she needs. With Type 1 diabetes, her body does not have the ability to create insulin.
Hill said there is no cure for Type 1 diabetes. “I can run 15 marathons and still be a diabetic at the end of it,” Hill said.
“If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t make insulin or makes very little insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps blood sugar enter the cells in your body where it can be used for energy,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.
For now, Micki Hill is focused on crossing that finish line.
For more information about Beyond Type 1, visit beyondtype1.org.