Diabetes Diplomats: Finding the Hero Within
(June 2011) If diabetes is a part of your life, then it’s likely you’ve felt overwhelmed by the everyday burdens of the disease more than once. And perhaps Mariah Carey’s lyrics have rung true for you…
“And then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside ‘cause you know you can survive”
At the DRI Foundation, “hero” has become synonymous with “Diabetes Diplomat.” Children and adults from all over the country are filling this role. They aren’t waiting for a cure. They’re aiming for it!
Though 24-year-old Briana Pashcow does not have type 1 diabetes, she is intimately familiar with it. Throughout her childhood in Upper Brookville, NY, she watched her mother, Louise, injecting herself with insulin every day multiple times per day. And at age 8, Briana learned how to administer an insulin injection just in case her mom ever needed help.
Since 1995 her whole family, including her sister, Shannon, has been fundraising for the DRI. Currently, her father, Allan, serves as the chairman of the DRI Foundation’s Long Island Regional Board of Directors and as a member of the National Board. Louise also serves on the regional board.
Now living in Washington, D.C., Briana feels helpless when her dad calls to inform her that Louise is in the hospital due to insulin complications. It is that feeling that led her to become a Diabetes Diplomat by creating and promoting a fundraising webpage.
“This donation page is a way for me to help my mom and a cause that is so close to my heart,” Briana said.
On Mother’s Day, Briana was overjoyed to surprise her mom with the news that she had raised more than $10,000 for the DRI.
In Lima, Peru, 4-year-old Nicolas became a Diabetes Diplomat in another way. He joined Pump Wear Inc.’s Wall of Change, which is benefiting the DRI throughout 2011. Nicolas simply collected coins and formed them into letters and numbers to represent the amount of time he has lived with type 1 diabetes. His mom, Ximena, then took a photo and sent it along with the coins to the DRI Foundation.
People with diabetes from all over the world are participating, and you can too! It’s time for change. And we can get there one dime at a time! Visit PumpWearInc.com to view the Wall of Change and become a part of it.
Everybody has a hero. As much as Superman fits into this category, so too can each one of us! Remember what Mariah says…
“So when you feel like hope is gone look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth that a hero lies in you”
Diabetes Diplomat Multiplied
Once Lisa Treese of Duncansville, PA, found the DRI by scouring the internet, she was eager to find ways to support its cure-focused mission. She first became a Diabetes Diplomat by spearheading a walk-a-thon, which involved her family and friends who called themselves Team Zachary in honor of her youngest son, who was diagnosed with type 1 at age 3. That effort grew to include more than 12 family teams and several hundred participants.
Lisa started meeting more and more parents of other children with diabetes who wanted to follow suit, becoming Diabetes Diplomats themselves. The one-day, one-site walk-a-thon has since expanded to multi-events of both diabetes education activities and fundraising endeavors throughout the community, including Caps for a Cure (Price and Phillips families) and Walk to School Day done at local schools, and even block-long garage sale (Taylor family).
Other families became involved with Diabetes Diplomat projects such as designating percentages of their Pampered Chef and Avon sales to benefit DRI. The Daugherty family enlisted sponsorships like Best Buy and Geek Squad; also included as sponsors this year are the Altoona Curve and Sanofi Aventis. You don’t have to be a mathematician to see how Lisa’s efforts are multiplying.
Briana and Lisa are just two of our many Diabetes Diplomat heroes!