Having a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) is often one of the worst days in a parent’s life. Realizing that your child will struggle every day is heartbreaking, especially when there is no cure.
For Joe Inglima, he dealt with this realization in 2017 when his son, Joey, was diagnosed with T1D at 4 years old. As they learned to live with the highs and lows, the Inglima family was hit with another heartbreak three years later; their 2-year-old daughter was also diagnosed with T1D. With two kids facing T1D and out-of-pocket healthcare costs rising, Joe Inglima knew he wanted to be part of the search for a cure. Joe–along with his friend, Jim Costanzo–decided to combine this heartbreaking struggle with something that he was passionate about…punk rock music.
In 2019, T1Fest was born–an annual 2-day punk music festival to raise money for JDRF in the hopes of finding a cure. The 2022 T1Fest will take place June 10-11 at Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago, and it will feature primetime punk rock bands such as The Methadones, Nerf Herder, and Direct Hit!. For more info and ticket sales, visit www.t1fest.com.
Though it isn’t your average fundraiser, Joe and Jim have raised thousands of dollars for JDRF, and they aren’t stopping until we have a cure for Gianna and Joey. Joe says, “A cure would mean that our children have a chance of living a carefree life like their peers. My daughter does not remember what it is like to not check her sugar before eating. A cure for her would mean that she can have a ‘normal’ childhood.”
While his daughter does not remember life before T1D, his son does, “Joey’s memory of the ‘before’ is still vivid in his mind, and he is aware of what the ‘normal’ life is. A cure for Joey would mean freedom.” For his children, Joe sees freedom from so many struggles, but he also sees freedom to just be kids.
JDRF is proud to support T1Fest and the Inglima family, who have been closely involved with JDRF since Joey’s diagnosis. Joe says, “JDRF has been part of our T1D journey since the beginning. It is true what they say – it takes a village, and JDRF is part of our village.”