Educate. Empower. Prevent.

Division of the J. Moss Foundation


I recently shared my story – LIVING LIFE WITH INTENTION (click to read). It’s my life’s journey towards becoming who I am today.

In my story, I referred to different periods of my life as being chapters of a book. With my birthday quickly approaching, it was only fitting that the next chapter I would choose to create would be the “Birthday Wish”.




Photo by Kingley RN

It all started with a simple idea – Make a Wish. 

It seemed easy enough. After all, I have had plenty of practice blowing out candles over the last 33 years. But this time I wanted to do something different.

I wanted to CREATE a wish that I could ultimately GIVE to others.

As an adult, my previous wishes seemed to be a bit impromptu. Making a wish became nothing more than giving mental recognition to what I valued- world peace, love, and happiness. I didn’t truly believe a birthday wish could directly affect my life. I guess you could say that the “magic of the wish”, that I had once believed in as a child, was gone.

Then recently at a child’s birthday party, I was watching as the child’s face gleemed with hope as she made her wish. That’s when I realized what was missing from my wishes- hope.

 This was an Ah-ha moment for me.

Maybe all these years my wishes didn’t come true because I was waiting for something to be given to me, instead of wishing for an opportunity to create something powerful in my own life.

Those of you who know me or read my story know that I am committed to Living Life with Intention. I wanted to create a birthday wish that was not only a reflection of my values but would extend beyond my own life to positively affect others.

In making my wish, I had one main goal – to motivate at least 1 person to live a healthier lifestyle and prevent type 2 diabetes.

I believe that just as diabetes is an epidemic in our country, we can create a “ripple effect” that propels prevention forward – from a person, to their family, and through their community.

We just need 1 person to start it and a few friends to push it along and help it to grow. 


 WALK, RUN, SWIM, or GIVE ( oh and let’s add bike too)  

Now that I knew the intention of my wish would be to prevent diabetes, I needed to put

Photo By Jinoy Anto

my wish into motion. To pull it off, I needed some help. If I said, “hey, wanna help me prevent diabetes?”, I would have only received blank stares.  Something this big needed to be broken down to into small steps, peddles, strokes.

 My message was simple…

In lieu of presents, my birthday wish this year is to have YOU be 1 of 34 people that will commit to walking,running, or swimming 3.4 (three point four) miles on any one day between May 19th and June 2nd. As a commitment to awareness of a need for physical activity to prevent type 2 diabetes, I am personally pledging to walk 34 miles within 7 days. 

If you are unable to participate physically, please consider making a $34 donation to the Skinny Gene Project so we can continue our mission to educate those at-risk, and empower them with the resources to prevent diabetes. Who’s in?”

After all…

You can’t make footprints in the sands of time if you’re sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time?” — Bob Moawad 


I can honestly say when I came up with my birthday wish, I never anticipated the power or positive effect 1(one) single wish could have on so many people. 
My hope was that the birthday wish would motivate, encourage, and challenge my family and friends to make their health a priority (at least once) during the two weeks. 
The results of the “birthday challenge” far exceeded my expectations.
RESULTS: In the 2 week period, more than 92 people in 5 different states walked, ran, swam, or biked  928 miles. Together we burned  approximately 97, 901 calories.  We also received $1,600 in donations.
All donations received from the “Birthday Wish” will be used to provide financial assistance to low-income adults and parents who need our help to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and prevent diabetes from affecting their families.

Please watch this video to see the power 1 wish can make….

What’s bigger than these numbers are what they represent.  Together we burned the equivalent of what it would take for 2 people to prevent diabetes! 


One of the biggest “Wish Makers” in my life is my mother, Gloria Moss. Truth be told, when I first told her about my wish, I kind of held my breath while waiting for her response. Would she embrace the idea or dismiss it? Given her last visit to California, I had reason to worry. 

 When she came out last April we went for a 4 mile walk in Del Mar, Calfornia, and let’s just say she was less than happy with me for the speed and distance I was pushing her to do.  While she was wondering if I was trying to “kill her”, I was wondering how I might “motivate” her to maintain her physical activity; even when I’m not around to “crack the whip”.

Needless to say, she has always loved and supported me, but her determination to ensure my Birthday Wish would come true, went way beyond the love of a mother.

My mom not only walked a total of 40 miles ( 34 miles during the 2 week period, 6 miles training for the wish), she shared my wish and convinced 34+ other friends and family to pledge their support.  She also single-handedly raised  $1,300 for our non-profit organization. – Thanks Mom!

Here are our other wonderful  “Wish Makers“… 

Special Thanks to the representatives from the following organzations  who made a financial contribution to may favorite non-profit- The Skinny Gene Project!

Bexar County Medical Society

Britts & Associates, LLP

Dr. Rohit Kapoor- Oncologist, San Antonio, TX

 MD Health Group

Dr. Robert Narvaez- Gastroenterologist, San Antonio, TXNew Braunfels Pediatrics Clinic

Northeast  Methodist Hospital of San Antonio

UC Mailing and Shipping Center

Note: In the charts below $= requested donation of $34 – $35; $$=amounts that exceeded donation request







We’ve accomplished so much, and we are just getting started. We’ve got momentum behind us, and we’re running with it.

The wish meant something different for each participant. It was a reminder to make their health a priority. It was motivation to maintain their active lifestyle, but run a little harder or farther. It was encouragement to do something they haven’t done in a while.

Whether participating in the wish was the first step in a positive direction, or just another step along the path, we are confident for most people…it won’t be their last.

I’m really happy that Lisa brought it to my attention; being diabetic myself, I know the importance of physical activity, but sometimes it gets so routine that I “forget” just how essential it is.  Its challenges like this one, where you can involve a big group and make it fun, that keeps me motivated.”




“I heard about the Skinny Gene challenge from my mom and Irene and am happy to participate.  As I get older, I realize how important it is to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, not only to maintain physical health, but for mental health as well.  I am already trying to instill this principle in my two year old son and three year old daughter.”   




(Please email the Skinny Gene Project at if you would like help creating your own healthy birthday wish!)

Leave a Reply