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 Plantone-Hubbard family. Cameron J. Hubbard is the Team Captain of Cameron’s Crew, the top fundraising team for JDRF One Walk Allentown.
Read more below to find out what JDRF means to their family as told by Cameron’s mother, Stephanie Plantone-Hubbard.
What is your T1D connection?
Our son, Cameron who is now 16 and a junior in high school, was diagnosed with T1D on August 23, 2007 at the age of 6 just before starting 1st grade.
Tell us about your loved one living with T1D.
Like many kids living with type 1 diabetes, Cameron has such great resilience. He has never let T1D define who he is or what he can do. He has always been extremely active. He was diagnosed during soccer season and only missed games the weekend he was in the hospital, playing soccer until he was in 9th grade. He also played baseball since he was 8 years old. Today, he plays high school baseball as well as plays throughout the United States with his travel team. Being that active, he has always been great at checking his sugar many times throughout the day and we continue to check during the night. He has used Omnipod since three months after diagnosis; however, he has not yet been swayed to use a CGM. He started driving this summer and never thinks twice about testing his sugar before he gets in the car. It is hard to imagine that he will be headed to college in two years but we know that he understands the importance of managing his diabetes and trust that he will.
How has JDRF’s support made a difference for you and your family?
Over the years we have met such wonderful families and have worked with amazing staff at JDRF. Some of the connections that have been made have turned into true friendships. It is wonderful to meet other families who are going through the same things or have been there and can lend advice or a listening ear. JDRF has been at the center of it all by bringing families together through events as we fight for a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Why did you decide to get involved with JDRF (One Walk, Kids Walk, Gala, Ride to Cure Diabetes, and/or any other JDRF activity)?
Shortly after diagnosis, my sister found JDRF online while doing some research and saw there was a walk scheduled for the spring of 2008 at Northampton Community College. I quickly decided that we needed to get involved and do our part to help find a cure. By sending out letters to family and friends, we raised well over $15,000 and had around 100 walkers for Cameron’s Crew our first year. At that time, the walk had around 400 people so it was quite funny when we all showed up after having a pre-walk breakfast at our house in matching blue Cameron’s Crew shirts. Apparently, we made quite an impression and quickly I was asked to be on the walk committee. I also served on the JDRF Eastern PA Chapter Board of Directors, was involved in starting the golf outing in the Lehigh Valley and helped start and served on the Lehigh Valley Gala Committee for the past seven years. It has been gratifying to me to know that I am doing my part to help make a difference for people living with type 1 diabetes.
What would you tell another newly diagnosed family about JDRF?
There will be a new normal….at some point….I promise…even though you can’t possibly believe it right now! It is so overwhelming in the beginning. There is a sense of loss, over the life your child and family had, and what it now has become. There is a feeling of your child losing the innocence of their childhood which is now filled with blood sugar checks, shots and carb counting. It is a scary and sad time for the entire family. But in time, it will get better, be less scary and you will smile again and be happy. Not to say that there aren’t tough days but they are much less frequent and overwhelming. With time, you will gain a sense of confidence in knowing that you, your child and your family can manage living with type 1 diabetes.
What are your plans to continue fundraising post-event?
This year we were not able to make One Walk Allentown due to Cameron’s baseball schedule; however, we still wanted to support JDRF and help raise money. We again did a fundraising campaign by sending out letters to our family and friends as well as using Facebook. We quickly were able to raise $ 11,500 this year post-walk. We have had unbelievable support of Cameron’s Crew and with my husband’s company matching our personal donation every year we have raised over $125,000 for JDRF. We cannot thank our family and friends enough for their love and support in helping us raise funds for a cure for type 1.
Join the Plantone-Hubbard Family in supporting your local JDRF One Walk! There is still time to support your local 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!