Diabetes Diplomats – Lisa & Zach Treese


Diabetes Diplomats!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.

Getting Involved

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.

Picture of "Team Zachary" at the walk

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.

Huge Success!

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!

Learn More

What is a Diabetes Diplomat? Read more…

What Is a Diabetes Diplomat?

Diabetes Diplomats LogoWhat is a Diabetes Diplomat?

A Diabetes Diplomat is anyone who has decided to get involved with raising money and advocating for the Diabetes Research Institute.

The Diabetes Diplomats group has a laundry list of proven ideas that you can use.  There’s no shortage of ideas – they just need people to give the ideas some legs.  Whatever you choose, they will guide you through it from start to finish.  These ideas are easy, fun, and have been done again and again (meaning the concept and process is well polished).

Or maybe you have an idea of your own, but just need a little guidance to get started.  The Diabetes Diplomats can help you with that too.  Who knows – you might be the one who comes up with the next great idea!

All you have to do is decide to do something.  Doesn’t matter what you decide to do – just do something, and stop waiting for someone else to do it (as Lisa Treese has said).

The resources you gather, through whatever you do, go directly to the scientists at the Diabetes Research Institute.  They are working on a cure from many different angles (Re-educating the immune system, advances in cell replacement, and increasing the supply of insulin-producing cells, to name a few), and collaborate worldwide to share what they learn.  But they need our help — that research is more expensive than any of us can imagine.

Link to the "Create your fundraising page" site

I’m hoping to connect with a few Diabetes Diplomats, and share their stories here.  I want to do whatever I can to spread the word and share the experiences of those making a difference for all of us.

Walk with Walgreens? Walk with WALGREENS! Wow!

I support the Diabetes Research Institute (and disclosure), and they recently made a pretty huge announcement that I wanted to share with everyone.

It started with the Walgreens stores in South Florida.  About 260 of them.  But it has expanded across all of Florida – all 852 Walgreens stores in Florida are participating and promoting the “Walk with Walgreens Walkathon and Family Day” to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute.


It’s hard to wrap my brain around how huge, and great, this is.   I mean, 852 stores is a LOT of stores!

It’s all happening on Sunday, April 10, 2011, from 8:00am – 12:00pm.  There are a bunch of locations around all of Florida.  There will be face-painting, music, free giveaways, refreshments, entertainment, health booths and info, and one $500 scholarship will be awarded at each site (details on eligibility for scholarships (bottom of the page))!

Take a look at the walk page on the Diabetes Research Institute’s website for more information and to print off a registration brochure (you can also call the DRI Foundation office at 800-321-3437 to request a brochure).

Display stand with plush toys to help support the DRIIn addition to the walk, Walgreens is also helping out in a few other ways (starting mid-March and throughout April).  Cashiers will be asking customers if they’d like to purchase a certificate to help support the DRI, and those that do can write their name on it and have it placed on the wall at the store.  There will also be DRI Coin Canisters on the register counters, and a special plush toy display in the South Florida areas.

Disclosure: I work part-time for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation supporting their Diabetes Diplomat program.

Be Part of the CURE

I mentioned recently that I’m doing some part-time work with the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s Diabetes Diplomats program.

One really fun campaign that launched on Monday is “Be Part of the Cure“.  It’s a HUGE photo collage that will literally spell the word “CURE” and will hang within the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami.

CURE Banner at DRI

With a minimum $10 donation, people can upload a photo or image, along with a paragraph talking about the picture, or how diabetes touches their lives.  At the website, you can zoom in and see all of the individual pictures, and if you click on a picture you can see details and read their story.

I donated yesterday and uploaded a picture.  My image landed inside the “U” (left hand side, inner edge).

My pictures

The zoom controls are near the bottom, and you can zoom in, zoom out, drag your mouse around to explore all of the pictures, and if you click on any picture you’ll get a larger view of the image along with the details about it.

You can also search photos by name, state, or keyword.  It’s pretty cool!  The first $25,000 in donations will be matched by Animas & LifeScan, so this is a big opportunity to double the help that your donation offers.

I support the DRI because they are great folks doing great things.  [DRIF Disclosure]