- What is your connection to JDRF?
I am a type 1 diabetic and 2 of my 4 children are type 1 diabetics. JDRF has always been a great support and resource. And now I work here!
- How has it been managing your diabetes and your children’s?
It is very different to live with T1D than it is to take care of children who do. It is harder, emotionally, to see your children suffer. In addition, there is a delicate balancing act of raising them to be super responsible about managing their diabetes care for their immediate health as well as to prevent long-term complications with trying not to frighten them or over burden them with too many what-ifs … I believe it’s hard for young children to grasp the future anyway and it’s burdensome for adolescents to have to worry about it when they have so much on their plate, anyway, just trying to grow up! My goal has always been to raise my children and to live my own life according to the goal of “we will control this disease rather than letting it control us,” and I am very proud of how well my daughters have lived up to and honored that mission. There are many times when they are my strength, in light of their own acceptance and resilience and success. In addition, I am always conscious about being a good role model for them. Never easy …
- Before working at JDRF, where were you?
I have worked in the nonprofit sector as a consultant and as a communications and development manager. In addition, I have managed marketing departments at a financial institution as well as a publishing company.
- What has been your favorite project at JDRF?
I haven’t been here long enough to have a lot of projects under my belt yet, but I am excited about the many ways in which I have and will be able to support the mission. I do love the concept of the Kids Walk, recognizing how valuable that experience would have been for my own children.
- As we await a cure, what JDRF research advancement are you most looking forward to?
Outside of a cure, encapsulated beta cell replacement therapy sounds like the best option to me!
- Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
Alaska … maybe because it was my most recent vacation, but also, it was just so unique and there was such an awesome beauty in the simplicity of life there, despite it actually being a very difficult place to live in terms of being remote and far from so many things we take for granted … the wildlife and nature were incredible and truly awe inspiring! Yellowstone and Yosemite are up there, too … probably for many of the same reasons!
- What is your favorite book/movie?
Book: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.
Movie: Not really sure, but I recently watched the Zookeeper’s Wife and was completely taken by the power of the story and the kindness of strangers in the midst of the unimaginable cruelness of what happened during WW2. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks!
- What do you do for fun? Besides work 😉
I love to ski and hike and spend time with my family and pets
- Motto or personal mantra.
“Choose Happy” Come into my office, and you will see the sign I have saying that! J
A couple of other favorites: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain” and “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”
- The most important lesson you’ve learned.
There’s a certain kind of bravery in in choosing to be kind to myself … being super devoted to four kids has made me work really hard to remember that! And I keep this funny little saying on my phone for days when I feel like I’m pulled in too many directions due to the combination of dedicating myself to family, friend, work and even diabetes management … “ I can’t please everyone, I’m not chocolate!” 😉