Meet our fantastic 2020 JDRF Hope Gala Youth Ambassadors. These amazing kids and teens are helping to support the Hope Gala by sharing 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.
This is Quinten’s first year as a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. Quinten is 15 years old and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 7 years ago. He doesn’t let his T1D stop him from pursuing his variety of hobbies such as robotics, wrestling, bocce, hurling, and band. For Quinten, a cure for T1D would mean freedom, freedom from wearing a pod, testing his blood sugar, and from carb counting.
Ryder was recently diagnosed with T1D last August but has jumped right in to getting involved with JDRF as a first time JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. At 10 years old, he stays busy with soccer, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse. For Ryder, being part of the JDRF family means showing the world that having type 1 diabetes doesn’t stop you from doing what you want to do in life!
Ryan is a brand-new JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. He is a very active 5-year-old who was recently diagnosed with T1D last August. Ryan wants his friends to know that “I am still Ryan. Diabetes does not define me. It is not WHO I am”. He enjoys playing soccer, swimming, ice skating, hockey, and playing with his brother.
Jack is a returning JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador with a passion for sports, reading, cooking, and his family. Since Jack was diagnosed with T1D almost 6 years ago, he’s been involved with JDRF from being a Youth Ambassador, having a One Walk team, helping with sneaker sales, and even doing his first JDRF Ride to Cure this year. For 13-year-old Jack, being a part of JDRF helps him see that he is not alone and that there are other people going through the same thing.
This is Connor’s first year as a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. Connor is an enthusiastic 12-year-old who was diagnosed with T1D 8 years ago. He makes sure to plan ahead for his favorite activities, like swimming and biking, by packing plenty of low snacks and monitoring his blood sugars. As part of the JDRF family, Connor enjoys helping others with T1D while also learning from them too.
Harrison is a new JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost 3 years ago. Now at 5 years old, Harrison has a big imagination and loves building Legos and playing soccer and basketball. For Harrison, and his parents, a cure would mean the realization of true childhood, one without worry for things like sleepovers, eating lunch, and playing his favorite sports.
When Harlan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 3 years ago, he used to be afraid. Now, at age 9, he can put in is Omnipod site and Dexcom sensors in a heartbeat. This is Harlan’s first year as a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador and for him being part of the JDRF family means knowing he is not the only one with this disease and that all things are possible. When he’s not in school, Harlan like playing outside with friends.
This is 8-year-old Carson’s first year as a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. Since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 4 years ago, he has been involved with JDRF with his rock star One Walk team, Carson’s Crushers. Carson likes to play soccer and makes sure to prepare before playing by eating plenty of protein to keep his blood sugar up. For Carson, a cure would make him so happy because he wouldn’t have to change his pump or Dexcom sites or stop in the middle of playing with his friends to check his sugar.
Brooke was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 10 years ago, but it has never stopped her from chasing her dreams and doing what she loves like playing soccer and cheerleading. At 16 years old, Brooke continues to be active with JDRF as a returning JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador, having a One Walk team, and attending other JDRF events to help raise funds and advocate. For Brooke, a cure would mean everything, like the chance to live a normal life and not have to worry about her blood sugar how much insulin to give.
Elizabeth – Fund A Cure Family
Elizabeth is a member of our Fund A Cure family for this year’s JDRF Hope Gala. Elizabeth was diagnosed with T1D one year ago. She is a bubbly 16-year-old with a passion for performing, even being Miss River City’s Outstanding Teen in 2019. Elizabeth dreams of a future where the constant struggle of disruptive glucose monitoring, sleepless nights, and endless insulin injections don’t exist.