We are proud to introduce our amazing 2019 JDRF Hope Gala Youth Ambassadors! These kids support the Gala by telling their stories of life with type 1 diabetes (T1D) to help others better understand the importance of raising funds for research through the Gala and Fund A Cure.
Since being diagnosed with T1D 10 years ago, Brooke has learned that she must be “positive, strong, and determined to live with this lifelong disease”. Brooke is now 15 years old and enjoys hanging out with her friends, cheerleading, going to youth group, and spending time with her family. While she says living with T1D is hard and requires a lot of work, JDRF means the world to her and knowing there will be a cure someday makes her stronger.
Grace was diagnosed with T1D in 2015 but she says the past 3 years with T1D have made her braver. Grace is 17 years old now and loves figure skating and cheering. For Grace, being part of the JDRF family has meant having someone to turn to that understands what it’s like having T1D and is always there for her.
Isaac has been a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador since he was diagnosed with T1D 8 years ago. Now 14 years old, he stays active in basketball and soccer, plays guitar, bass guitar, and drums, and is working towards becoming an Eagle Scout. He was also selected by a national committee to serve as one of the 2019 JDRF Greater Missouri & Southern Illinois Children’s Congress delegates. For Isaac, being part of the JDRF family means having a group who has your back and is there to help when you need it.
This is Izzy’s second year as a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. Since being diagnosed with T1D nearly 4 years ago, Izzy has been very involved with JDRF and through JDRF she has found friends who also understand what life is like with T1D, she’s even found her “diabestie”. At 13 years old Izzy loves dancing, especially ballet, as well as reading, playing the flute, and hanging out with her siblings and friends.
Jack is a busy 12-year-old who doesn’t let T1D slow him down from doing the things he loves like tennis, soccer, basketball, volleyball, football, and cheering on the Cardinals and Blues. When Jack was diagnosed with T1D 5 years ago he remembers being afraid at first but now it has become a part of who he is and he likes teaching people what T1D really is and how a day in his life works. Jack is a returning Youth Ambassador and makes an incredible impact with his role at the Gala.
Joe is back for his second year as a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador and has never been shy of getting involved. His family jumped into creating a One Walk team just 2 months after he was diagnosed with T1D 8 eights year ago. As a 12-year-old, Joe enjoys playing soccer and basketball and is currently trying to master all the various Rubik’s cubes. For Joe, a cure means freedom and finally getting to be a kid again, but he doesn’t let T1D ever stop him.
Luke has been very active with the JDRF community through captaining a One Walk team for 3 years, speaking about athletics and T1D at the Summit, and volunteering as a Youth Ambassador for the gala. Luke says JDRF has been a great support system for himself and his family since he was diagnosed 2 years ago with T1D. Luke is 17 years old and plays football, lacrosse, weightlifts, and loves being a part of the Mock Trial team with his school.
When Megan was diagnosed with T1D in 2011 she was scared it would limit her activities. Now at 16 years old, she has learned that she can do whatever she puts her mind to and says, “I now see that diabetes doesn’t and shouldn’t hold me back from doing what I want”. In addition to participating as a Gala Youth Ambassador, she enjoys playing competitive volleyball, spending time with family and friends, and volunteering for school sponsored activities.
Mia is a returning JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador with a passion for sports, shopping, and spending time with her family. She has been very involved with JDRF through Galas, Walks, and even working with her volleyball team to stuff bags for JDRF runners in local races. When Mia was diagnosed with T1D 6 years ago she felt very alone and nervous but now at 14 years old she says “it makes me unique and different than my friends. I feel very strong and independent”.
For 10-year-old Morgan, JDRF has been a way to meet friends who also have T1D. Morgan was diagnosed with T1D in 2013 but she’s never let it stop her from doing the things she loves like playing with her friends, going to dance, and coloring. She was also selected by a national committee to serve as one of the 2019 JDRF Greater Missouri & Southern Illinois Children’s Congress delegates. A cure for to Morgan means being able to go to sleepovers and spend the night with her friends.
This is Skylar’s first year as a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. She was diagnosed with T1D in 2015 and has developed a lot of independence since her diagnosis. As an 11-year-old, she enjoys being part of the JDRF family and being with others that are battling diabetes, just like her. In her free time Skylar stays busy with band, singing, dancing, gymnastics, 4-H, and musicals.