November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and JDRF is raising awareness all month long. We will be highlighting type 1 diabetes (T1D) stories throughout the month.
Our next spotlight is on the Sparkler family whose JDRF One Walk Philadelphia team, Team Sparkler, was led this year by twin sisters Lindsey and Samantha (Sam) Spector.
Inspired by their mother Jennifer Sparkler Spector and maternal aunt Ilisa Sparkler who are both living with T1D, high schoolers Lindsey and Samantha have led their team to raise over $7,000 for T1D research. Read more below to find out what JDRF means to Lindsey and Sam Spector.
What is your T1D connection?
We have had a connection to T1D our entire lives. Our mom, Jennifer Sparkler Spector, was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 30; my mom’s sister (our aunt), Ilisa Sparkler, was diagnosed with T1D at the age of ten.
Tell us about your loved one living with T1D.
We always knew that our Mom had T1D but we never understood the full meaning of it until she started having severe sugar lows a few years ago. Ever since these sugar lows have occurred more frequently, we feel more anxious and unsure of when these lows will occur. Sometimes we ask our Mom so often what her sugars are, she becomes frustrated with us.
How has JDRF’s support made a difference for you and your family?
The money that Team Sparkler has raised for JDRF has greatly impacted our family. The Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) was introduced to our family about a year ago. Our Mom and Aunt Lisa both have CGMs now which have changed their lives for the better. We don’t have to constantly check up on our Mom; we can just check her sugars with the app on our phones! Thankfully, our Mom has not had a sugar low since receiving the CGM.
Why did you decide to get involved with JDRF (One Walk, Kids Walk, Gala, Ride to Cure Diabetes, and/or any other JDRF activity)?
Team Sparkler was created in 1996 thanks to our Aunt Lisa. We have been participating since the year 2000 when we were babies. We are now seniors at Upper Dublin High School and for our culminating project, we decided to lead Team Sparkler this year as co-captains. The project involves giving back to the community and JDRF One Walk is a great example of giving back to the T1D community. Our goal is to live in a T1D free world for our Mom, Aunt, and everyone else who suffers from this terrible disease!
What would you tell another newly diagnosed family about JDRF?
Joining JDRF allows people with this disease to network, speak freely and honestly about their disease. It enables a person with T1D to not feel singled out and to know there are many others in similar situations.
What are your plans to continue fundraising post-event?
We will keep fundraising by posting on social media and networking with new people we meet in college.
Join the Sparkler family in supporting your local JDRF One Walk. There is still time to support your local JDRF One Walk by making a personal donation or reaching out to your network to share your T1D story and how their donations will help us turn Type One into Type None!