Okay Race, tell us your current age and grade:
13, (going into) 9th grade
At what age were you diagnosed?
10 years old (Humble brag from his momma- he earned his black belt in taekwondo a couple months before he was diagnosed!)
Aside from the ambassador program, what are you involved in?
Boy Scouts, Church, Band.
Boy Scouts pictured here!
What is your favorite low snack?
What is your favorite JDRF memory?
I was at home (I think in the summer), I had only had diabetes for a couple months and my mom came home. She said she had a surprise for me and for me to shut my eyes. I did and she went out to the garage and came back in. When she told me to open my eyes, I saw a Rufus and his story book! I was overjoyed as I quickly grabbed him and looked at the book. As I read the book aloud, I learned of how he came to be and what all the (what I thought were patches) were on him. I had wanted a diabetic toy/stuffed animal but did not know that was a real thing. I remember I started testing his blood sugar and giving insulin for every meal. I gave him a 1-20 insulin ratio an calculated his amount for the same amount of carbs I ate. He meant so much to me to have a animal I could relate too!
Favorite TV show or movie?
(TV show – Top gear) (Movie- Facing the Giants)
What advice would you give a newly diagnosed T1D?
I would give them two main points. One being that this is not the end of the world. You will find that you know many people that you had no idea had diabetes! Football players, Basketball players, Race car drivers, golf players, baseball players, you name it, there are many people that you look up to with type one diabetes. Did that stop them? No! NASCAR driver Ryan Reed won Rookie of the Year just a few years after being diagnosed with Type one diabetes. NFL quarterback Jay Cutler has Type one diabetes, he has been a long time starter for many teams! Diabetes is not a dead end. It is a yield, you can still go where ever when ever as long as you manage your diabetes well! Second point, any child diagnosed with Type one diabetes HAS to go to at least one diabetic summer camp. They will make friends, learn about the very promising future of Type One diabetes, and have a blast! Diabetes camp changed my life, and it can change theirs!
What else can you tell the chapter about yourself?
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just three months before I became a Boy Scout. I now am just on the verge of earning Eagle Scout. Diabetes will not stop anyone from doing anything, and it will just inspire you to do more!
I have given and continue to give speeches at Lions clubs (picture below), Rotary Clubs, Churches, Schools, and many other places to spread awareness of Type one Diabetes. I was also on a Lego Robotics Team (FLL) and we earned the award for “best real life problem project and solution” in the world… less than three months after I had been diagnosed.
Thank you Race for your participation in the Ambassador program and for sharing your story with the Fort Worth chapter!