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Diabetes Research Institute Foundation Board Spotlight: Barbara Hatz

May 2018 -- Barbara Hatz is a longtime, impactful member of the DRI family. Barbara Hatz

For more than two decades, Barbara has motivated others, encouraged people to give their best and offered unwavering support to parents of children with type 1 diabetes.

“I have dedicated my life to this endeavor in finding a cure for type 1 diabetes,” said Barbara, a long-serving Northeast Region Board Member. “It has been the best part of my life and the worst part of my life. I strive every day to raise the necessary funds for diabetes research and there is much more work to be done.”

Since her son, Ben, was diagnosed at age 10 more than 33 years ago, Barbara has been an advocate for him and has become a well-known voice in the diabetes community. She is described by many as passionate, compassionate and a resource for connecting people.

Over the years, Barbara has become a lighthouse for parents who find themselves lost in darkness after finding out their child has type 1 diabetes. She gives them much-needed direction.

“It is an incredibly, painful situation for newly-diagnosed families and I truly empathize with them, as I have been there,” Barbara said. “I try to help to the best of my ability and guide them with their ‘new normal.’”

As an original member with her husband, Jon, of the Long Island families that helped create the Northeast Region Board, Barbara describes her fellow board members as family.

“These parents understand what I feel every day,” said Barbara, who served as Chair of the Long Island Board and received the 2007 Gillin Family Humanitarian Award. “There are people in life you can count on, who will go that extra mile for you and you for them. I will not let them down and I know they feel the same way.”

Barbara feels there is a need for new Board participation and more help to raise funds for the cure-focused research at the DRI.
“People come to the table for all different reasons,” said Barbara, who currently serves on the board’s Events Committee. “I would want people to know the importance of being part of the board, giving their time and energy, and feeling the camaraderie of this group. It is truly an honor to be a part of the DRI and Foundation.”

Her dedication continues.

“My commitment to find a cure for diabetes is the challenge of my life,” said Barbara, a mother of three grown children and seven grandchildren. “I have learned that who I am has little to do with what I do and much to do with how I do it – and I do it with a cheer, a smile, a tear, a hug, knowing that I have made a difference. And I truly feel the best hope for a cure is at the DRI.”

 

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