This year our Gala Youth Ambassadors are coming together from across the chapter to celebrate one amazing virtual Dream Gala. These inspiring kids and teens are supporting JDRF’s mission 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 Dream Gala and Fund A Cure.
Thank you to our Ambassador Spotlight Partner,
the Rick & Cathy Baier Foundation.
Ryder is a returning JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador who likes playing basketball, riding his bike, and playing video games. As a T1D champion for over a year and a half, Ryder wants other people to know that he didn’t do something to develop T1D, it cannot currently be prevented, and there can be a genetic influence (his mom is a T1D champion too!). As part of the JDRF family, Ryder likes being able to know that there are other kids who have the same struggles, and he can talk to them about life with T1D.
Hannah is an unstoppable college student who was diagnosed with T1D in 2015. If Hannah could share one thing about life with T1D, it would be to never let T1D define you! You can even use your T1D as a platform to share more about this disease and help find a cure. For Hannah, being a part of JDRF gives her hope and comfort that so many people in this world are helping to find a cure. In her free time, Hannah enjoys hanging out with friends, being outdoors, cleaning, and sleeping!
This is Carson’s second year as a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. Carson doesn’t let his T1D slow him down and stays active with soccer, baseball, basketball, and golf. Since being diagnosed with T1D 5 years ago, Carson has been very involved with JDRF through his One Walk team and likes meeting people that deal with the same struggles. A cure for Carson would mean a lot, because it can be very hard to deal with T1D.
Alex is a returning JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. For Alex, who was diagnosed 4 years ago, being a part of the JDRF family means always having a connection to other people living with T1D. Alex enjoys playing baseball. He makes sure to check his sugar before each game and always has plenty of low snacks on hand. For Alex, a cure would mean that no one would have to choose between insulin or food, or between insulin and paying rent.
Izzi has been a part of the JDRF family for 12 years and has been incredibly involved with JDRF through 11 One Walks, as an ambassador for both One Walk and the Dream Gala, and by helping with the Artisan Home Tours last summer. Izzi wants people to know that even though she has T1D, she’s still Izzi and can do everything and anything! In her free time, Izzi plays softball, runs track, and is involved with her church’s youth group.
Connor is a super social person who loves spending time with friends and family, competing with his swim team, and acting in his school’s theatre productions. If Connor could share one thing it’s that, other than producing insulin, he can do anything, and he never lets his T1D stop him from having fun (it just means packing a few extra juice boxes). Connor has loved being a part of the JDRF family for the past 9 years and enjoys forming an instant bond with other people who have with T1D.
This is Ryan’s second year as a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador. Ryan’s family has been involved with JDRF for a long time through walks, rides, and advocacy efforts championed by Ryan’s mom, who also has T1D. Ryan enjoys playing sports, arts and crafts, and playing with his dog. A cure for Ryan would mean happy tears and dancing with his family and friends.
As a cheerleader, Natalie knows the importance of a strong team, whether it’s her cheer team and coaches who are always helpful and supportive, or her JDRF team and family, who she can always talk to about life with T1D. Natalie has been incredibly involved with JDRF for the last 11 years through One Walk and the Dream Gala. A cure for Natalie would mean finally having the freedom from worrying about blood sugars or site changes….and no longer being asked “is that a pager?”.
This is Quinten’s second year as a JDRF Gala Youth Ambassador, but he’s been a T1D champion for 8 years. For Quinten, a cure for T1D would mean freedom from carb counting, from needles, from symptoms of high and low blood sugars, from carrying supplies everywhere, and most of all, from worrying about T1D. Quinten enjoys playing video games and sports, participating in jazz band, and playing the bagpipes.
Ollie has been a part of the JDRF family since he was 2 years old. He has never let T1D slow him down, whether he’s riding his bike, playing bass and guitar, gaming, or staying up to date with the latest T1D advocacy and research news. Advocacy has played a big role in Ollie’s T1D journey, including sharing his story with Senator Jerry Moran, when he was first in office, and former Congressman Kevin Yoder in Washington, D.C. A cure for Ollie would mean everything – no more calculating, no more site changes, and no more high or low alarms waking him up.
For Maddy, being a part of the JDRF family means she’s not alone and she feels like people are always there for her. As a T1D champion for a year and a half, Maddy wants her friends and family to know that their support means the world and having people who love and support you through the highs and lows helps a lot. Maddy enjoys running, bowling, and playing with her dogs. Before a run, she makes sure to eat something to keep her blood sugar from dropping too fast.
Since Jack was diagnosed with T1D 7 years ago, he has been involved with JDRF as a Youth Ambassador, leading a One Walk team, helping with sneaker sales, and even sharing more about T1D and JDRF at various school’s Ability Awareness Days. For Jack, being a part of JDRF means being surrounded by a family of people who get it, support him, and believe that together we can find a cure. In his free time, Jack enjoys playing sports and video games, cooking, and hanging out with his dogs.
Juliette is a second-year ambassador who enjoys hanging out with friends and working out. As a T1D champion for 4 years, Juliette wants others to know that T1D is a 24/7 that you never get a break from. JDRF has helped Juliette feel less alone with her T1D by being able to connect and make friends with others going through the same experiences. For Juliette, a cure would mean more freedom to live her life and not having to constantly worry about blood sugar levels.