Small paper cutouts of white hands with the words “Stop Diabetes” written underneath them cover the glass entrance doors of Gateway Intermediate School 364. The Spring Creek Tower’s middle school is taking part in the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) world wide fundraiser to find a cure for the devastating disease.
“Our community is directly impacted by diabetes,” said I.S. 364’s Principal Dale Kelly, who introduced the “Stop Diabetes” campaign to his students as a school wide project that actively connects them to efforts to eradicate the disease. “There are students and members of their family who have diabetes. We want to show out children they have a role, a responsibility to help make a change in their community through advocacy.”
This month I.S. 364 students are asking parents, family members and friends to make a donation to the cause. Every donor’s name is written on a campaign’s hand cutout and pasted onto the school’s doors as a symbol of their support for lives free of diabetes and its burdens. Kelly told the Spring Creek Sun the school’s goal is to raise $1,000 by the end of October.
When 12-year-old Kayla Lilley learned about the fundraiser, she thought of her friend Kyle who has type 2 diabetes. She recalled him walking to the nurse’s office where he could give himself an insulin shot. “There were times when we would have birthday parties [at school], and he would have to first check with the nurse before he could eat any cupcakes or sweets,” Lilley said.
Inspired by her friend’s health challenge, Lilley has made a personal donation to “Stop Diabetes” and is asking other to also contribute, “I want there to be a cure to help kids like Kyle.”
While it is not definitively known who will be diagnosed as having diabetes, medical science believes
family history may be an indicator of an inherited predisposition to the disease. Type 2 diabetes, the most
common form of the disease found among adults, is often attributed to several factors … obesity, family
history, age, poor diet and lack of exercise.
“I want to help people who have diabetes now, and to help those who could get it in the future,” said Lilley’s schoolmate Steve Clerge. The 12-year-old has several family members who suffer from the disease. He said he is hopeful that the work ADA is doing and the support it is receiving from others will make a difference. Committed to the cause of finding a cure, Clerge donated one week of his allowance money to the fundraiser.
“This month we are participating in several fundraisers,” said Kelly as he described his students’
community service activities in October that also involve a Penny Drive for the homeless and the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer walk.
BY AMANDA MOSES
AGNES E. GREEN