DRI and Foundation News

DRI Diplomat Honored in her Hometown as Volunteer of the Year

DRI Diplomat Richelleng Ramirez PierucciniThe Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation are proud to recognize Richelleng Ramirez Pieruccini, who received the Youth Volunteer of the Year award from the HandsOn River Region of Montgomery, AL. Richelleng, 14, a DRI Diplomat, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 8, but she doesn’t let that stop her from accomplishing her goals!

In 2016, Richelleng founded the Heart of Gold Foundation, a non-profit organization that is committed to helping children with diabetes. Through her organization, she hosts different events throughout the year, including a candlelight ceremony in the state capitol on World Diabetes Day and her annual Heart of Gold Foundation Charity Gala Dinner. Her efforts have raised $3,500 for the DRI.

As graceful as she is determined and motivated, Richelleng also became the USA Alabama Premier Junior Miss 2019 earlier this year. Since earning this honor, she has read books to preschoolers and kindergartners, visited sick kids in the hospital, and spread joy with gifts of stuffed animals. She’s made hygiene kits for the homeless and brought donated mugs to a local senior living facility.

With so many good deeds under her belt at such a young age, it leaves us wondering what in the world Richelleng will do next! Thankfully, supporting research for a cure is at the top of her list.

“A few years back, Richelleng learned about DRI Director Dr. Camillo Ricordi and wrote a letter to him directly. We were all touched by her sincerity and her drive, and she continues to prove what an amazing person she is again and again,” stated Tom Karlya, senior vice president of the DRI Foundation.

On social media, Richelleng posted a thank you to the Hands On River Region, a Voluntary Action Center, and stated, “I am grateful for winning the award in the 2019 Youth Category. This is my 3rd year being nominated and I wanted to congratulate all the nominees as well because to me just being nominated is an honor.”

Are you looking to Be the Hero like Richelleng and join the DRI Diplomats? Peer-to-peer fundraising just got easier on our new DRI Diplomats website

Keep up with our progress toward a cure & more

Be a DRI Insider - Get News!

Press Release Archive

2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 

2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 

1998 - 2002 | 2003 - 2005