Zach was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three, on Father’s Day, 2007.
Spending four days in the hospital, learning how to check blood sugars and give shots, Lisa watched her little guy finally smile again. He had been the moodiest little boy, and now she understood why.
They spent their time in the hospital on the same floor as little kids with cancer. Right there, Lisa decided she would never complain about diabetes. She also set her mind to doing everything she could to make Zach’s life better.
She started “Team Zachary” that September, and walked at a diabetes walk in Pittsburgh.
Unquenchable Thirst (to do more)
Lisa wanted to do more. So she organized a diabetes education assembly at their school, and had their own walk that spring.
Still wasn’t enough. Lisa still wanted to do more. She stayed up all night researching everything she could find, and came upon the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI). She reached out to some of the names on the website and connected with Lori Weintraub, VP of Marketing and Communication, DRIF (the non-profit fundraising arm of the DRI).
They e-mailed back and forth for a while. The more Lisa talked with Lori, the more she realized this was the kind of group she was looking for — one that cared about her family, even though they had never met.
Lisa joined their “Parents Empowering Parents (PEP) Squad” support group. Before long, Lisa asked Lori for help organizing a local PEP Squad. Lisa is now a PEP Squad leader for local families.
Lisa also asked for help with her diabetes walk at Zach’s school. That’s when Lori introduced Lisa to Tom Karlya. Tom had a program called “Diabetes Diplomats“, and the walk Lisa was doing would fit right into Tom’s already existing program. So they started working together.
With the help of the Diabetes Diplomats program, she started getting kids involved with educational programs at school. Getting the kids directly involved was a win/win. Makes them feel involved with the program, and things just take off from there.
Last year, with the help of the Diabetes Diplomats program, the Blair County Diabetes Walk raised about FIVE TIMES as much as it did the first year, and things are on track for a great 2011.Blair County Diabetes Walk Saturday, June 4, 2011 11am – 2pm Foot of Ten Elementary Walking Track Duncansville, PA
Lisa is a great example of taking Diabetes Diplomats to the max, and we appreciate all of the hard work and sacrifices she has made. As someone living with type 1 diabetes, I personally appreciate all of their efforts.
Thank you Zach! Thank you Lisa!
What is a Diabetes Diplomat? Read more…